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Editorials

SNAP for Retired Veterans

When we think about aid for veterans, much concern should be directed to the numbers of them receiving food aid under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food stamp program. This is one of those hidden costs of war that are often almost impossible to calculate. The latest outrage that really concerns me is the cuts to the SNAP program being considered by the current administration. Over 1.7 million vets live in households receiving SNAP assistance – over 227,000 in Florida and Texas alone as well as 17,000 residing in Nevada. Republican engineered cuts to that program will be devastating to many of them. The following is particularly sad – CNN says that military families are on a pace this year to redeem more than $100 million in food stamps on military base commissaries (up over 20% from 2012). Each year, the figure increases. And this doesn’t include the vets with food stamps going to local food markets because they don’t live near a commissary. I don’t think our present crop of leaders really understands the depth and harm done by the cuts they have advocated. And now, they go even further with the present cuts proposed.  Watch for the introduction of the “Harvest Box” program which will cut the total SNAP program around thirty percent.

Lawmakers need many more telephone calls and letters to educate them and make them understand that the public is watching their actions more closely than ever before. If they are looking to save money it shouldn’t be done on the backs of veterans and the less fortunate among us. They should, instead, examine government subsidies to oil companies and large corporations. In addition, they should take a look at the offshore tax havens that cost our federal treasury more each year than the entire food stamp program.

Margarette Purvis, president and CEO of the Food Bank for New York City, said the $5 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that recently began to come into effect will have a terrible negative impact on those living in poverty. Purvis stated the trends lean toward the number of citizens needing nutritional assistance is only going to increase.

Purvis went on to say – “On this Veterans Day, when we’re waving our flags — I need every New Yorker to know — 40 percent of New York City veterans are relying on soup kitchens and pantries.”

The plunder of assistance programs by the ultra-rich and their representatives in Congress has to stop. Remember this: Down through history revolutions weren’t started by the rich. They were started by the poor and here in the US, the gap between the rich and the poor is growing rapidly. Some way, somehow, we must continue efforts to narrow that gap to lessen the inevitable and possibly terrible consequences.

The Trump administration and Republicans in Congress target food stamps every chance they get, evidenced by the Trump introduction of “Harvest Boxes” to replace half of all food stamp benefits in his 2019 budget.

Now, however, Republicans’ incessant focus on food stamps could jeopardize vital, historically bipartisan legislation: the farm bill.

While some details of the proposal are still under wraps, what we know so far is not good news. In addition to slashing over $20 billion in spending on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamp) benefits over a decade, the farm bill would also impose strict work requirements on food stamp recipients.

Democratic aides said the farm bill proposal would likely result in at least one million SNAP recipients losing their benefits due to the proposed work requirements and income limits.

These cuts and work requirements aren’t just collateral damage from an important bill—they’ll have deep, devastating impacts on low-income families all across the United States. Congress must not pass a farm bill that includes any of these attacks on SNAP.

Democrats are holding the line against these drastic cuts, but we need all members of the House to reject this dangerous, unethical policy.

House Democrats are holding the line against drastic cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that could remove a million people from the program and create expensive administrative burdens for states. Republicans want to tighten existing work requirements in the food stamp program, and the proposal is threatening the farm bill. With the Trump administration pushing their “Harvest Box” SNAP replacement, now is the time for all of us to call our representatives in the House to reject any cuts or additional work requirements to qualify for SNAP.

Copyright Charles Loomis 2018[amazon_link asins=’1461115450,B004S81N2E,B00X3PF0T0′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’nevadatoday-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’fb4dcf88-2ebc-11e8-a505-511691722d4d’][amazon_link asins=’B00X3PF0T0′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’nevadatoday-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’3b5f7c1d-2ebd-11e8-b5d5-d303eed875dd’]

 

 

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