Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Snap)by Representative Danny K. Davis
Posted on 2014-01-16
in the house of representatives
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Mr. DANNY K. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, cutting the Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program will adversely affect poor people and
lower benefits to households with children. SNAP helps families obtain
nutritious and healthy foods. This anti-hunger program is immensely
effective in providing assistance to a minimum of 46 million
individuals and families across America. In addition to food benefits,
SNAP educates ways to use food dollars wisely and live a healthier
lifestyle by promoting the importance of nutrition. A key component of
SNAP is their ``No Kid Hungry'' campaign, which, aims at fighting
against childhood hunger in America by partnering with communities to
enroll eligible families with half of the program recipients being
children. Reducing spending over the next few years by billions of
dollars will affect the lives of Americans who depend on these programs
to help put food on the table for their families.
Currently, the legislative language included in the House farm bill, would develop unintended consequences resulting in ancillary hardships to our neediest population. Given our nation's economic recovery, high unemployment rate, and the wide prevalence of food insecurity among children, all are directly problematic to the SNAP program. Every $1 in SNAP new benefits would generate up to $1.80 in economic activity. Every time a family uses SNAP benefits for healthy food on the table, it benefits the store and the employees where the purchase was made including the truck driver who delivered the food, the warehouses that stored it, the plant that processed it, and the farmer who produced the food. Each $1 billion increase in SNAP benefits is estimated to create and maintain 18,000 full time jobs including 3,000 farm jobs. SNAP benefits have a powerful anti-poverty effect that the Census Bureau reports would lift 3.9 million Americans--including 1.7 million children--out of poverty. SNAP alleviates hunger and improves nutrition by increasing the food purchasing power of low-income households, enabling them to obtain a more nutritious diet that contributes to the prevention of obesity, diseases, and food insecurity.
Cutting funding is a threat to SNAP's mission to alleviate the health problems many children face in America. Studies indicate that children who are provided with healthier food are less likely to develop health problems and more likely to excel better in school. Sixty-two percent of teachers in a survey said that they have children in their classrooms that come to school hungry regularly because they are not getting enough food to eat at home.