Do not cut food stamps

The GOP in Congress is threatening millions of American families, including 200,000 Iowa households. Their threat is cutting food stamps.

To understand the problem, review a survey report issued by the Department of Agriculture on Sept. 4. It shows that nearly 49 million Americans lived in “food insecure” households last year. Worse, children were found to be hungry in 10 percent of all U.S. families with children. Hunger rates since the 2007 recession are much higher.

Food stamps has for years been the centerpiece of our country’s safety net for the poor. Benefits are adjusted for income. Recipients can use food stamps only for food, notwithstanding Rep. Steve King’s assertion that he knows food stamps are used for bail and tattoos. Nearly 15 percent of our population receives support through food stamps, at an annual cost of nearly $80 billion.

Food stamps expenditures are already to be cut when a provision in the 2009 stimulus bill expires. House Republicans, however, propose cutting an additional $40 billion. This GOP cut would push millions of poor people off the rolls. This cut is an unthinking attempt to take food from America’s poorest people. Please contact Rep. Tom Latham at (866) 428-5642 and Rep. King at (202) 225-4426 to ask they not cut food stamps.

Paul J. McAndrew Jr.

Iowa City


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