America's most effective anti-hunger initiative is known as SNAP or food stamps. Washington is the 15th-hungriest state in the nation. SNAP provides about $1.40 per person, per meal. That may not sound like much, but to a hungry family with children, SNAP makes all the difference in the world.
As the manager of a women, infants and children food program known as WIC, I see daily the impact of nourishing children.
SNAP helps families stay on their feet as they find work and put their kids through school. For many, SNAP means they can pay rent and cook dinner. SNAP means they can make ends meet with their lower-wage, full-time jobs. The problem of hunger and food insecurity on early childhood development is real and has a lasting impact on academic and life success.
Yet in farm bill negotiations, Congress is now proposing changes to cut another $8.6 billion from SNAP. This, just after Congress already cut $11 billion when they let economic stimulus spending for SNAP lapse on Nov. 1.
Turning to our hungry children and low-income working families, again, to solve budget problems is no solution. We as a nation need to protect our most vulnerable and passing a farm bill that increases hunger among children, seniors and veterans should not even be considered an option. SNAP is part of our vital safety network helping nourish our children and provide them with opportunities to be successful in school and life.