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Your Turn: Bread Members Respond to House Proposed Cuts to SNAP
Photo by Flickr user by visual.dichotomy
Last week, we shared with you that the House of Representatives just proposed to cut more than $169 billion from SNAP, formerly the food stamps program. Some representatives argued that feeding hungry people is really the work of the churches.
These representatives are essentially saying that on average every church across America — big, small, and tiny — needs to come up with an extra $50,000 dedicated to feeding people — every year for the next 10 years — to make up for these cuts. Bread for the World launched a petition and asked everyone to sign on and tell Congress that churches cannot be the only ones responsible for feeding hungry people.
Thousands of people signed the petition, and many shared their own stories and comments. Here are comments that some of you left:
"A good number of our students at Ancilla College have an expected family contribution (EFC) of $0.00. Some of them rely on SNAP for food for themselves and sometimes for their families (non-traditional students). In their effort to better themselves and thus be better prepared to make contributions to society [they] need the support of SNAP." --Carleen from Donadlson, IN
"Alfred Parish UCC is already sending a lot of food through 2 different feeding programs and providing a monthly free meal to people who come through the doors. We don't have the means to 'pick up' and do the kind of work that our Federal Government can do. The SNAP Program must be continued." --Bruce from Alfred, ME
"As a small church in the middle of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, we are inundated with needs all around us. The proposed cost is more than we pay our full-time minister for compensation, the only full-time staff we have. We contribute to multiple charities that distribute food to those who are in need in order to insure the best stewardship of our resources. And, yet, we are still not able to meet all of the needs, these cuts will overwhelm us." --Sarah from Arlington, TX
"As program manager of the Northeast Emergency Food Program of the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, we serve 11,000 unduplicated individuals each year. We do so through a wonderful partnership of congregations, businesses, individuals, other nonprofits, and the government. In the past three years, the number of our clients has increased by over 40%. There is no way we can make up for either the loss of food provided by the USDA or the influx of clients who would lose benefits such as SNAP. And there is no way our church partners could fill the gap." --Howard from Portland, OR
"Feeding the hungry is not a choice -- it is a moral imperative. But the food pantries and soup kitchens in this area funded by the generosity of church members already are serving those in need at capacity and beyond in these tough economic times. We are doing our part. We expect that our government will do the same." --Alexandra from Troy, NY
"It is a sign of a healthy country when the government cares for its poor. It is a sign of an abuse of power when the government determines that only the religious communities are responsible for caring for its poor. The move to cut billions from funding that will care for the poor will show the world that the leaders of the US care only about power, dominance and control. We stand at risk of losing our way, our heart, our very notion that all are created equal and ought to have equal access to meeting basic needs." --Jan from Raleigh, NC
Thanks to everyone who signed this petition -- and if you haven't yet, join your voice with thousands of other people of faith who believe that we must all work together to end hunger.
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