Food Stamps Again A Vivid Symbol In Poverty Debate
at the end of the day because of the sell-by dates. Or [it’s from] growers that have product that’s nutritionally sound, perfectly good, but cosmetically blemished or not quite up for prime time. [So we] bring this food down into a retail environment where it can become affordable nutrition. A retail environment is a store … or a food truck or something like that? Yeah, it’s kind of a hybrid between a grocery store and a restaurant, if you would, because primarily it’s going to take this food in, prep it, cook it [for] what I call speed-scratch cooking. But the idea is to offer this at prices that compete with fast food. Since the food is past its sell date, is it safe to eat? Absolutely. As a matter of fact, if you have a product that says “sell by Sept. 1” or “Oct. 1” and, you know, it’s Oct.
“This bill is designed to give people a hand when they need it most,” Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said on the House floor just before lawmakers passed the bill. He said the legislation “will put people on the path to self-sufficiency and independence.” The White House threatened a veto, and Senate Democrats angrily criticized the level ofcuts. “The Senate will never pass such hateful, punitive legislation,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. For decades, Congress has combined farm programs withfoodstampsto garner urban votes for the rural measure. Butfoodstampshave complicated the process this year as House conservatives have called forcuts. The cost of thefoodstampprogram, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, has more than doubled since the Great Recession deepened in 2008. More than 47 million Americans, or 1 in 7, are using the program. The Senate passed a bill including bothfoodstampsand farm programs in June. Later that month, the House defeated a farm bill that included both thefoodand farm programs after conservatives said itsfoodstampcuts around $2 billion a year weren’t high enough. GOP leaders then split the farm programs from thefoodstampsand passed a farm-only bill in July. Conservatives crafted thefoodstampbill, saying highercutswould be easier to pass in a stand-alone bill. Getting the three bills into a House-Senate conference could be tricky under House rules. Republicans said Thursday that one more step is needed the House will have to hold a procedural vote to allow both the farm andfoodstampbills to go to conference.
Food stamps cut votes highlights deep divide between House and Senate
Republicans argued that work requirements target the aid to the neediest people. Democrats said the swelling rolls more than 47 million people are now using the food stamps, or 1 in 7 Americans show that the program is working at a time of high unemployment and great need. A look at the history and future of food stamps: No more stamps These days, people in the nation’s largest food aid program pay with plastic. These special debit cards are swiped at convenience store or supermarket checkouts to pay for groceries. The cards can’t be used for alcohol or cigarettes or nonfood items such as toothpaste, paper towels or dog chow. Junk food or high-priced treats are OK. The first food stamps were a temporary plan to help feed the hungry toward the end of the Great Depression of the 1930s. The government subsidized the cost of blue stamps that poor people used to buy food from farm surpluses. The idea was revived in the 1960s and expanded under Johnson into a permanent program that sold food coupons to low-income people at a discount. Beginning in the 1970s, food stamps were given to the poor for free. Benefit cards began replacing paper in the 1980s, a move designed to reduce fraud and ease the embarrassment food stamp users felt at the cash register. Food stamps aren’t the government’s only way to feed those in need.
House Republicans vote to cut $40 billion from the food stamp program was ‘heartless’
Over 92% of them are children, the elderly, disabled or working families below the poverty line. Coming at a time when one in five children (16 million) suffer hunger, a record-high, the bill would deprive millions of Americans from a proven lifeline to keeping food on the table. I find that idea repugnant and repulsive, said an irate Rep. Jose Serrano (D-Bronx), who added that the cuts represented one of the cruelest visions of government that we have seen in generations. Repugnant, repulsive and needlessly cruel, these cuts would be disastrous for New York City. A study released Wednesday by the Food Research and Action Center revealed that nearly one in four households with children in New York cant afford enough food. In surveys conducted from 2008-2012, more than 23% of households with children in New York said there were times in the prior year when they did not have enough money to buy food. Some 14% of households without children experienced the same problem. For these people, economic recovery is one more meaningless slogan. There is never a good time for this kind of cuts, but this is absolutely the worst time, said Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. Yet, to hear House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) speak is to think that he and his fellow Republicans were practically saving the nation. House Republicans are working to restore the integrity of this safety-net program and protect it for those who need it most, a spokeswoman for Cantor said Wednesday. As if the economic crisis and the lack of jobs had never existed, Cantor assumes that millions of food stamps recipients do not need them or are gaming the system. This despite Agriculture Department data showing that SNAP has lower fraud rates than the agricultural subsidies to millionaires that Cantor and his fellow Republicans voted to increase even more two months ago.