Mamas, Papas, Tíos, Niños, Abuelitas, Vecinos and A Place at the Table
Bread for the World's associate for Latino relations, Dulce Gamboa, speaks to CNN en Español about the nearly $40 billion in cuts to SNAP recently passed by the House of Representatives and the impact these cuts would have on the Latino community.
By Dulce Gamboa
More than one in four Latino families does not know where their next meal will coming from. The situation is worse for families with children — one in three experiences food insecurity. These are hardworking people who often work two low-paying jobs, struggle to put food on the table, and skip meals to feed their children.
The House recently approved a bill to cut SNAP (formerly food stamps) by nearly $40 billion over the next 10 years. This will send millions — including many mamas, papas, tíos, niños, abuelitas, and vecinos in the Latino community — to the nearest food bank or church in search of food. But our churches and charities would have to nearly double their ongoing efforts to handle the need and, realistically, they cannot absorb an increase in demand of this magnitude. Budget cuts to programs such as SNAP will have devastating consequences for low-income Hispanic families.
Millions of Latino children will go to school hungry, which undermines their learning capacity and reduces their lifetime productivity. By 2018, Latinos will represent 18 percent of the U.S. labor force and the contributions of Latino children to American society and the economy in the years to come will depend on the investments that our government makes in our children. We must help them develop physically, mentally, and emotionally. Feeding our children in low-income families is not only the morally right thing to do, it is the economically right thing to do.
The fate of the farm bill is still up in the air and the SNAP funding battle is certainly far from over. The House and the Senate will have to reconcile their differences around SNAP through conference before the end of the year. A cut of $40 billion is unacceptable for the Latino community. Is this the end of an era of compassionate policies to lift people out of poverty and hunger? Congress must protect families and children from hunger. A prosperous future where everyone has a place at the table demands it.
Dulce Gamboa is the associate for Latino relations at Bread for the World.
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