Protect food-stamp funding
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
I agree with the editorial “Food stamps: Chew on this” (Aug. 21 and TribLIVE.com). The farm bill “should be sheared of its outrageous subsides and allowances that benefit Big Ag” at everyone else's expense. But nutrition programs were removed from the farm bill when Republicans couldn't agree on how far to take cuts.
Do work requirements make sense for the 92 percent of food-stamp recipients who are children, elderly or already employed?
Yes, the food-stamp program “continually comes under scrutiny” — by people looking to defund the program. The actual rate of food-stamp fraud and abuse is among the lowest of any government program, now down to 1 cent on the dollar.
Yes, farm bills' passage has historically relied on a broad bipartisan consensus in Congress. But neither hunger nor food-stamp spending is entirely “urban.” Over one in seven rural households, about 3 million altogether, are food insecure. Rural representatives who vote to cut food stamps do harm to millions of their own constituents.
Yes, 204 House Democrats signed a letter. Their stated goal was to protect food-stamp funding, which is critical to the war on hunger and on poverty, particularly child poverty. Now that makes sense.
The writer is volunteer coordinator for South Side-based Just Harvest (justharvest.org).
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