Food Banks Need A Bailout

Food bank

Starting today SNAP, or food stamp benefits, will be reduced by 5 percent. SNAP used to max out at $668 a month for a family of four. Now, the maximum amount will drop to $632, or a cut of $432 a year.

Thanks to the Great Recession and a commitment to austerity by the government in the wake of the recession, an additional 21 million people were added to SNAP since 2008. Today, more than 1 in 4 U.S. children live in a home that gets food stamps.

Another group with lots of members in SNAP: Veterans. U.S. Census Bureau data show that, in 2011, some 900,000 former U.S. military personnel lived in households that used food stamps.

Economists have found that every dollar of SNAP spending generates roughly $1.70 in local economic activity. The USDA has calculated that food stamps generate an even bigger bang for the buck. So pinching food stamp recipients will ripple into the broader U.S. economy.

Food bank operators are bracing for more people lining up at local pantries while Congress debates additional cuts to the supplemental nutrition program that helps 1 in 7 Americans, including 22 million children. Utah alone is already losing $26 million in SNAP funding this fiscal year.

When we go shopping at Costco we always pick up some additional food to donate to the Utah Food Bank, which provides food to a statewide network of 134 emergency food pantries. Also we send them an annual cash contribution. Washington politicians are always ready with handouts for the rich and the corporations, but not for ordinary American people who work for a living. It’s going to be up to us to bail out the food banks!

More info: SNAP Benefits Will Be Cut for All Participants in November 2013

UPDATE: SNAP Cuts Disappear From Network Sunday Show Coverage

  1. #1 by Larry Bergan on November 1, 2013 - 6:31 pm

    Somehow it doesn’t make me feel safe to have a large segment of my fellow citizens having less food, starting today. Are they going to have to get time off work to go stand in line at the food pantry or just find the time somehow.

    Didn’t we always used to talk about how Russians had to stand in line for everything. Stupid Communists! That will never happen here!

  2. #2 by Richard Warnick on November 6, 2013 - 12:39 pm

    Food Stamp Cuts Will Bring Hardship For The Holidays

    Bonnie Lane said that her benefits have been cut to $51 a month, which comes to less than $2 a day. That “makes it hard to cook Thanksgiving dinner,” she said. “How does one eat off that?” Soup kitchens and food pantries are one way to fill the gap, but they are already stretched. “These resources are over-crowded and rarely provide anything healthy,” she said, adding that their short hours also make it difficult for someone who works like her.

  3. #3 by Larry Bergan on November 6, 2013 - 9:33 pm

    Well, at least we still have the thanksgiving meals provided to the homeless. I’ve never been able to understand what happens to them for the other 364.

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