U.S. House Republicans are proposing to cut a crucial program that helps hundreds of families in Charlestown buy food and fend off hunger throughout the year.
Republicans are drafting a farm bill to cut $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In Charlestown the SNAP program supports low-income families and allows them to purchase healthy quality food. This proposed cut comes one year after Republicans tried to cut $20 billion from the program last year.
Over the years SNAP has partnered with Charlestown nonprofits like the ABCD at the John F. Kennedy Center o ensure families and children in the neighborhood do not go hungry.
Nationally the cut Republicans are proposing would kick 2 million people out of the program, reduce benefits for more than 800,000 families, and leave 210,000 children without school meals nationally.
Reverend David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, said last year’s proposed $20 billion cut was equivalent to eliminating half of all the charitable food distribution by churches and food banks over a 10-year period. He called the current legislation that doubles last year’s cut “cruel” and “unacceptable”.
“Bread for the World is deeply distressed by the $40 billion cut to SNAP proposed in the House,” said Rev. Beckman. “We know the suffering and crises that poor families face every day, even in a recovering economy. This cut would substantially increase the suffering of 47 million Americans who depend on SNAP to keep hunger at bay.”
He added that when the House SNAP bill comes to a vote in September he, along with many people of good will and faith, will be there to tell Congress that we must maintain a circle of protection around programs focused on hungry people.