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Elyssa Schmier's picture

Some U.S. members of Congress are at it again: they are literally trying to take food out of the mouths of hungry children and families. This week the House of Representatives and Senate proposed their budgets and the legislation attempts to gut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps).

We can’t let Congress get away with this again! One in five children in the U.S. rely on SNAP for their meals, yet Congress keeps making major cuts to the program while giving bigger tax breaks to big business and billionaires!

Moms and dads need to speak up and tell Congress “hands off of SNAP!”:

SNAP helps real families trying to make ends meet. Families like Lorraine’s: “I was a middle class hard-working professional, until my marriage ended around the same time as the recession hit. I suddenly became the unemployed single mother of two girls, ages 4 and 7. [After endless job searching and selling off many of my possessions] a close friend suggested I apply for food stamps. His family had used them. That night, thinking of my girls, I piggybacked off of the neighbors’ wireless signal and Googled “how to apply for food stamps.” A few weeks later, it was a huge relief to trudge up the stairs to my apartment with my happy kids, carrying bags of fresh groceries. It felt better than Christmas. These are tough times, and I learned the hard way that pride doesn’t put a warm meal on the table, but that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) does.”

Like Lorraine’s children, one in five children rely on SNAP to put food on the table. The House budget hits SNAP with a double whammy. First it cuts the program by $140 billion over ten years. And then as if that were not enough, the budget block grants SNAP, turning control over to the states by 2021. This might sound fine, but what this really would mean is SNAP would be less able to respond to increased need during an economic downturn (like the one many of us are still trying to pull ourselves out of). In addition, states would be able to shift funds away from food assistance to other purposes, meaning our families struggling to put food on the table wouldn’t be able to get the service we deeply need. The Senate budget also includes major funding cuts that would result in less SNAP dollars for our families.

Converting SNAP to a block grant would harm the millions of low-income families who rely on it now or will need help in the future. Currently 46 million people access SNAP—how will moms and dads provide food for their families if these draconian measures are passed through Congress?

We need your help in making our voices loud and clear. Write Congress TODAY and tell them “hands off of SNAP!”:

Children and families shouldn’t have to go hungry while big businesses and billionaires rack up more tax breaks! The Congressional budgets lower tax rates for large corporations and wealthy individuals, creating a windfall for the wealthiest few and pushing struggling families deeper into poverty. The members of Congress who support this budget claim they are helping the economy, but in reality, slashing funding for food stamps only hinders our economic growth. SNAP doesn’t just help individual families, it also helps our local economies. According to the USDA, SNAP is a key public benefit program, which also serves as an economic stimulus, creating an economic boost that ripples through the economy when new SNAP benefits are redeemed.

So join me in calling on Congress to do the right thing and protect the funding and integrity of SNAP:

This is a real threat to a real important program, so we need all hands on deck. Once you write your members of Congress, post the action link ( to Twitter and Facebook. We have to make sure we come together to protect SNAP for kids and families.

Thank you for being a strong voice for children and families across the country.

One more thing: do you have a personal story about how you or your family uses SNAP? Well, we would love to hear from you. Please share your experiences with SNAP/food stamps.

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