(Brooklyn, NY) – Today, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamps Program, will be cut by $5 billion. “I call upon our leaders in Congress to restore funding to SNAP and pass legislation that will create strong middle-class jobs,” said Senator Parker. “People are hurting and instead of promoting policies to guarantee food security and grow the economy, House leaders would rather impede our economic recovery and shut down the government,” continued Parker.
These cuts will directly impact the 47 million Americans who rely on these vital benefits, as well as send a negative ripple effect through our economy. More specifically, here in New York, according to the Food Bank for New York, nearly 1 in 3 New Yorkers (2.6 million) struggle to afford food. About 1.9 million New Yorkers rely on SNAP and 1.4 million New Yorkers rely on assistance from soup kitchens and food pantries.
SNAP is our nation’s most significant investment to prevent hunger. “Our country's most vulnerable populations: seniors, children, hungry families and the disabled have relied on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program since the early 1940s. We must not balance the nation's budget upon the backs of working families, the Greatest Generation, and the less fortunate. That is why I am urging the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives, under the leadership of Speaker John Boehner, to restore SNAP and pass a jobs growth agenda,” said Parker.
Recently, Congressional Republicans callously passed $39 billion in cuts to SNAP, on top of the cuts slated to take effect today. “Already, thousands of families stand in line for hours in front of food pantries and soup kitchens because their SNAP benefits run out two or three weeks into a month. Cuts during this time of economic adversity are unconscionable. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net and while our seniors and hungry families are still struggling to climb towards economic independence, losing this vital food nutrition assistance is like purposefully loosening the rungs of the ladder of their success,” continued the five-term state legislator.
Here are a few facts that debunk the myths the public is being sold on:
SNAP helps make ends meet for America’s working poor. More than 40 percent of SNAP recipients live in a household where at least one person is working – but their income is too low to afford enough food for their families. (Source: USDA)
Nearly 80% of SNAP recipients are women and children. Households with children are consistently more likely than average to experience difficulty affording food, and low-income households with children are especially vulnerable. Children alone make up 45% of all SNAP recipients.
SNAP is an economic stimulus. Every $1 in SNAP benefits generates $1.73 in economic activity. (Source: Moody’s)
About 1 in 5 SNAP recipients are elderly and/or disabled. Most elderly SNAP recipients (80%) live alone. (Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)
About Senator Kevin Parker
Senator Kevin S. Parker is intimately familiar with the needs of his ethnically diverse Brooklyn community that consists of 318,000 constituents in Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope. He is the Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, Assistant Democratic Leader for Intergovernmental Affairs, and Chair of the Democratic Task Force on New Americans.