Saturday, August 7, 2010

Food Stamps Face 14 Billion Dollar Cut Soon If Not Blocked

Link to original article: Bill slashing food stamp funds worries charities. If it passes, Harris County could lose up to $174 million in federal aid

"Local charities already struggling to provide food for needy families worry that a U.S. Senate bill that cuts $14 billion from the national food stamp program will increase demand for assistance in the Houston area and put more strain on nonprofit groups"

“We think this is a huge mistake,” Dwyer said. “The food program is the front line of hunger relief in America. With the cut, the pressure falls to charities that are not equipped to handle it.”

The Senate approved a $26 billion financial aid package Thursday to help state and local governments cover Medicaid payments and avoid teacher layoffs. And it’s doing it by siphoning money from the food stamp program. The bill calls for rolling back an increase in food stamp benefits provided through last year’s stimulus recovery act. The rollback would save $12 billion and would go into effect in 2014.

More than 524,000 Harris County families are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. A slash in benefits would mean the average Houston family of four would see a $60-a-month reduction in benefits, said Brian Greene, president and CEO of the Houston Food Bank.

Nearly 41 percent of families who receive food stamps have incomes at or below the federal poverty line, and only 13 percent have incomes above the poverty line, according to government records. The 2010 poverty threshold is $22,050 a year. A full-time wage earner making minimum wage earns just $15,080 a year, Greene said. “It’s the low-wage employment that’s driving them to pantries, and that’s why we need a strong food stamp program,” he said. In a recent Houston Food Bank survey, 62 percent of those surveyed said they had to choose between buying food and paying utilities and 52 percent said they had to choose between buying food and paying rent.
JMC Ministries Response:

The body of Christ needs to facilitate the love of Christ through giving our time and resources to reach these that will be affected if this bill passes.

In no way should we as Christians say that everyone who is on food stamps is lazy. This form of assistance is supposed to be a hand up for those out of work and a way to help those who can't work.

The love of Christ knows no bounds when it comes to helping people.

I pray that the Holy Spirit continues to convict hearts across the country to give time, money, and prayers for the homeless shelters, food pantries, churches, and others who reach out to feed the need.