If the U.S. Senate approves and the president signs an agriculture bill that further trips food stamps, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will cut $8 billion over 10 years.
According to an article published in the Allentown Morning News called “Putting the squeeze on food banks,” The Lehigh Valley’s food banks already have higher demands for service.
Congressman Charlie Den, a Republican, feels the cuts are necessary, while Congressman Matt Cartwright, a Democrat, is against the farm bill.
Dent feels that people are “gaming” the system through the Heat & Eat program, linking the low income heating assistance program to eligibility for food stamps. In contrast, Cartwright stated on his Facebook page, “I did not come to Congress to kick the most vulnerable Americans off of food assistance.”
Advocates of cutting the SNAP subsidy have argued charities can fill the gaps, however the Coalition Against Hunger disagrees. Food banks and other charities have already struggled to supply enough food, and it is fairing much worse in bigger cities such as New York City.
Germantown has often been viewed as a food desert. In October, Bottom Dollar Food was opened along Chew Avenue, which has been a blessing for many of the people who live in the community. However, many people still struggle to afford a meal, and with the cuts in the food stamp program, Pennsylvania will most likely see a serious impact, especially in Philadelphia.
What do you think? Is the benefit to cut food stamps of greater importance than how it will impact low-income citizens?