U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch and Alcee Hastings, both Democrats who represent parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties, are condemning the cuts in food stamps that went into effect Friday.
The food stamp program, which isn’t politically popular, is formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.
“Today, the 3.52 million Floridians and 48 million Americans nationwide who rely on SNAP to avoid going hungry will see their benefits go down as $5 billion in cuts take effect. These cuts result from the expiration of anti-hunger funding included in the Recovery Act, but we cannot forget that for these families, the economic recovery has yet to arrive, and putting food on the table remains a challenge. The fact that 87 percent of SNAP recipients live in households with children, seniors, or disabled Americans drives home how this assistance goes to those who need it most.
“As these families cope with more hardship and more hunger in the wake of this $5 billion cut, leaders in the House and Senate are beginning to negotiate the terms of a new farm bill that could include anywhere between $4 and $40 billion in additional cuts to SNAP. The best way to reduce spending under SNAP is to pass legislation that will actually create jobs and grow paychecks so that millions of Americans do not have to scrape by on SNAP benefits.
“Unfortunately, instead of passing a jobs bill, or a minimum wage increase, or immigration reform, Washington is busy debating how much less we are willing to help families who struggle with hunger in our communities on a daily basis.”
“Starting today, American families struggling to make ends meet will have one more thing to worry about. The $5 billion cut to SNAP benefits will impact 1 in 7 Americans, including seniors, the disabled, children, and low-wage working Americans. For these families and individuals, the cuts will literally keep food off of the table.
“This cut will force some of the hungriest people in our country to forego up to 21 meals every single month. Yet, Republicans remain determined to cut even more from the program. Just two months ago, House Republicans pushed through legislation to cut $39 billion from SNAP, nearly 10 times the amount agreed to in the bi-partisan compromise passed in the Senate.
“SNAP benefits are critical for the 47 million people that receive them. As a Member of Congress, I will continue to oppose cuts to SNAP and support legislation that makes it easier for Americans to provide for themselves and their families.”
Approximately 18 percent of Florida residents receive SNAP benefits. Nearly 1.7 million households in Florida participate in the program, including 51,000 households in the 20th Congressional district.
The food stamp cuts scheduled to go into effect on Nov. 1 will reduce spending by $5 billion in the 2014 fiscal year, and another $6 billion over the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years. They are expected to shave 0.2 percentage point from annualized consumption growth in the fourth quarter of 2013 and trim an estimated 0.1 percentage point off the annual growth rate of the nation’s gross domestic product, according to estimates by Michael Feroli, the chief United States economist at JPMorgan Chase. Those drags may seem small, but right now projections for gains in fourth-quarter gross domestic product hover around an annual rate of just 2 percent….
The amount that beneficiaries will lose depends on the size of the family. For a family of four receiving the maximum amount, monthly benefits will fall to $632 from $668, or a decline of $36, according to the Agriculture Department. The maximum benefits for a single adult would fall to $189 from $200, or by $11.Copyright © 2015, CT Now