Rep. Peters, Food-Security Advocates Highlight Local Effects of SNAP Cuts
l-r: Jim Lovell, TACO; Rep. Peters; Jennifer Gilmore, Feeding America SD; Parke Troutman, SD Hunger Coalition; James Floros, SD Food Bank
SAN DIEGO, CA – Today, Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) joined with local hunger and food-security advocates to highlight the effects of cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The press conference, in coordination with the Third Avenue Charitable Organization (TACO) and the First Lutheran Church, was held before volunteers participated in the twice-weekly community food service.
“In a country undergoing a slow economic recovery, it is imperative that we not force people into impossible choices like whether to put food on the table for their children or buy necessary medicine,” Rep. Peters said. “Harsh cuts to SNAP are not the way to get people back to work or provide food security for the thousands of San Diego families that are facing instability. While we often think of the less fortunate during the Christmas season, there is a need for nutrition assistance and volunteer energy year round.”
Over his first year in Congress, Representative Peters has voted numerous times against drastic cuts to the SNAP program. He also sent a letter to Speaker Boehner calling for SNAP benefits to be included in the final version of the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARM Bill) agreement.
“It is unfortunate that SNAP, which helps millions of families struggling to put food on the table, has become targeted by cynics engaging in policy by stereotype,” said Parke Troutman, Public Policy and Advocacy Director for the San Diego Hunger Coalition. “When you realize how poor someone has to be to qualify for the program, it becomes a scandal that so many are eligible.”
Reductions in SNAP funding have undercut the safety net of those most at risk, including veterans, the elderly and those on fixed incomes, and children. The vast majority of SNAP recipients live in households where at least one member is working.
The FARM Bill, supposed to be renewed every five years, expired September 30th, 2013, and has been under temporary extension since. Current negotiations are underway between the House and Senate to negotiate a full five-year compromise.