With one in five children living in poverty, House votes to cut SNAP food stamps


by Colleen Flaherty

Today, the House voted on and passed the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013 (HR 3102). The legislation would cut nearly $40 billion in the next decade from federal food stamps, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The cuts come at a time when 21 million children rely on SNAP for food, and more than one in five children currently live in poverty.

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“The U.S. House of Representatives today made harmful cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),” said NEA President and Arizona teacher Dennis Van Roekel. “Unfortunately, children will feel the brunt of the deep cuts for years to come.”

The bill passed 217-210, with 15 Republicans crossing party lines to stand up for impoverished children.

Millions of Americans who would go hungry without this program, nearly half of whom are children. It would also undermine the enrollment of low-income children in school meal programs, and 210,000 children would lose access to nutritious meals at school.

Access to proper nutrition is key for a student’s performance, according to the Nutrition Cognition Initiative at Tufts University. Continuous low nutritional intake affects factors such as motivation and attentiveness, which can have a negative impact on learning. In addition, undernourished children are typically fatigued and uninterested in their social environments.

“It is wrong to score political points on the backs of children and the most vulnerable,” said Van Roekel.

Reader Comments

  1. As a teacher I feel ALL students should receive breakfast and lunch at no cost–why not? Also, cutting the amount of food stamps received may/may not solve the issue, but having stipulations on what can/cannot be purchased may help. I have been behind families in the grocery line and I have seen prepackaged items–Lunchables, etc–potato chips, and LOTS of sodas being acquired. Perhaps the ingestion of less processed and sugary foods would solve a multitude of problems–obesity, dental concerns, lack of motivation.
    Priorities need to be put in order, too. Please remember that there are those families out there that claim they may not have enough to eat, but enjoy the convenience of a cell phone, bi-weekly visits to the nail technician, and driving a decent vehicle—there needs to be accountability for those that receive. “What are you doing to make it better for you and your family?” Children learn more from what they see, then what they are told.

  2. School age children are being fed through school lunch program—breakfast and lunch. After school programs provide an evening meal. And these families get SNAP as well ….and they can’t make ends meet because no one teaches the parent how to economize…hmmm

    1. Appytchr, are you for real? In case you hadn’t noticed, the middle class is being seriously affected by our economy (parents losing jobs, unable to pay mortgage, homeless, cost of living, etc…), so be a little more empathetic to those who have less!!!!!!!

  3. Where is the Christian outrage on this issue? We have been charged to feed the poor! I thought the GOP all wanted a Christian government….

    1. I would like to hear the Families of GI BILL WWII Descendants complain about anything FREE given to Children living in Poverty today –

      Now that’s a discussion we should have – Gather demographics of descendants who were able to attend/graduate college over the past 70 yrs whose ancestors benefited from Gov’t programs – Just a thought –

      1. To Tony B, do you really believe a college education for a man who risked his life in World War II is a Govt handout? Many never lived to collect on that program. There were many single moms too. They didn’t march in the streets, or complain about the rich. They certainly didn’t dump there kids on society. They didn’t have to ask Maury or Jerry Springer who fathered their children. They did work…hard. Paid enough taxes for the BIG govt we now have. That was an investment by the government. What you are asking for today is a handout. Yea, I welcome that conversation.

    2. Saying parents should feed their own kids is Great but you need to remember a load of kids are the product of Adults with low intelligence and/or education who sadly are not Able to get good paying jobs. It is a cycle which I have seen repeated in families often. Until people r born Smarter this will continue. We can Not tell under-educated/unintelligent people they Can’t have kids. And those kids Deserve and Need FOOD so I say, “Feed Them”

    3. Banks, golf courses, churches, as well as many West Virginians are the benefit of big daddy government, but we are talking about a specific group. It is easier to point a finger than to help!

  4. Over 60% of our county school children are economically disadvantaged. Our church is purchasing 20 coats for underpriveledged children. Now their food is being cut? If they can shutdown the government, we can too! let’s STRIKE!

  5. Please clarify that when you say the House passed the bill that NO Democrat voted for the bill. ALL yes votes were cast by Republicans. So, Republicans voted to deprive children of the basic need of food. Shameful!!

    1. I think you need to go read the actual bill that was passed, and stop listening to the media. NO benefits were cut, and no one’s food stamps will be discontinued.This bill simply introduces measures to stop fraud and laziness. Many stated have dropped the no-work-no-aid policies for childless adults that are federal. NO FAMILY WITH CHILDREN WILL BE REFUSED FOOD STAMPS OR AID.This All this bill does is weed out those who have made a life of living off the government because they don’t want to work. That does not include those who have been laid off, been injured, or have children. There is a reduction in the amount of benefits, which will mean that mom’s may have to stop buying chips and soda for their children’s dinner and start cooking an actual meal.

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