One in five American children are food insecure. Neither they nor their working parents know where the next meal is coming from. After paying for housing, utilities and gas to get to work, whatever is left buys groceries. Into this hunger, pain and fear comes SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. About 1 in 3 of our preschoolers get some of their critical nutrition from these food benefits. This food program is an important investment in the health and development of our young citizens. This is a small (only $1.40 per person, per meal) but vital investment in our children.13 comments on this story
This month the Farm Bill will be marked up in Congress. The SNAP safety net for families is embedded within the safety net protecting our farmers. I am worried that, in the interest of saving some money, harmful cuts may be made to the food supplements for our children. Certain factions demand that these food supplements be held hostage to stricter work requirements for their working-poor parents. I doubt that threatening starvation is likely to improve a parent's ability to land a new job. Nor is punishment likely to help families handle the stresses of unreliable transportation, or unreliable child care, that make holding a job difficult.
Providing secure access to healthy food for these families is a cost-effective investment in the lives of our children. Children are only 30 percent of our population, but they are 100 percent of our future. Don't let Congress take food from the mouths of babies.