The Least of These…

I really shouldn’t be surprised anymore by this, but I am.

This Friday, 48 million people — including more than 21 million children — will see their food stamp (SNAP) benefits reduced. Instead of receiving an average of a buck-fifty for a meal, individuals in need of food assistance will get about $1.40. For families of three, the cut means they will receive $29 less in food stamps every month.

Tianna Gaines-Turner recently described the impact of cuts like these in written testimony she submitted to Congressman Paul Ryan’s War on Poverty hearing: “Cutting a person’s benefits by $10, or $15, or $20 might not seem like a lot to legislators, but it would cut meals out completely for families like mine.”

Families like hers are families with two working parents earning low wages while trying to support three children. Ms. Gaines-Turner is employed by a childcare provider and her husband works the deli counter at a grocery store.

The SNAP cuts come at a time when 49 million people — about 14.5 percent of all US households — are food insecure. That means they don’t have enough money to meet their basic food needs, and don’t necessarily know where their next meal is coming from. The Institute of Medicine already demonstrated the inadequacies of the SNAP allotment for hungry families even before this cut.

But, we’re a Christian nation, right?


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