VIDEO: McGovern, Silverbush Talk Potential SNAP Cuts
Melissa Harris-Perry, who has used her MSNBC show as a platform to bring attention to issues of hunger and poverty in America, devoted her May 26 "Taking Food off the Table" segment to the farm bill and SNAP. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), former Virginia Governor Doug Wilder, PBS NewsHour Politics Editor Christina Bellantoni, Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) President Jim Weill, and A Place at the Table co-director Lori Silverbush discussed the $21 billion in SNAP cuts in the House Agriculture Committee's farm bill.
McGovern, Silverbush, and others spoke against slashing the program, and also addressed some common misconceptions about SNAP.
"Millions and millions of people on SNAP work for a living, work full-time, but make so little that they still qualify," McGovern said. "This is not a get rich quick scheme, this is hard living."
Silverbush said that the program has expanded to address hunger, as it is meant to do. "It's a terrible economy and the food stamp program was designed to grow when the economy shrinks, and it's doing what it was designed to do," she said. "People who are trying to cut it like to point to that as if it's some example of 'it's bloated, it's full of waste'—truthfully, it's only so big because the need is so big. And as the economy recovers, food stamps are going to go down as well."
The panel also discussed SNAP's extremely low fraud levels and the need to strengthen, rather than cut, the vital program.
"Most people, I don't care what their political persuasion is, don't want to see the burden on poor people get worse," said McGovern. Watch the entire segment below.
Bread for the World continues to fight these cuts as the bill goes to the floor of the House. Call your representative today at 1-800-326-4941 or send an email now, and tell him or her to protect, not cut, SNAP.
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