Local pantries worried Congress will cut billions in food stamps

NOW: Local pantries worried Congress will cut billions in food stamps

Congress is considering taking more than a hundred billion dollars out of the SNAP program which helps low-income workers feed their families. It’s a conversation that’s been happening for months now in Washington.

Hundreds of thousands of Hoosier workers could be dealing with a major issue if these cuts happen. In Michiana alone, 1 in 6 kids go hungry every single day. Now, local food pantries say a decision like this would be unacceptable.

“A 150 billion dollar cut is an abandonment on America’s commitment to make sure children don’t go hungry,” said Milt Lee, Executive Director of Food Bank of Northern Indiana.

Food items are piled high at a local food pantry in South Bend but the thousands of snack bars, cans, and bottles of water that sit in pantries like this across the country may not be enough for families if congress moves forward with these cuts.

“This is something that’s unprecedented in terms of the size of an individual cut,” said Lee.

Lee says he’s never seen anything like it before.

“This is one of the biggest cuts we’ve ever seen to any social program,” said Lee.

The food stamp program helps one in eleven workers put food on the table every night New data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows more than 200,000 Indiana workers participated in SNAP in 2016.

“We have to find a way to help those families and that’s going to be a heck of a tall task,” said Lee. “It’s going to put pressure on schools to make sure they can identify those kids who are going to have a difficult time getting the proper nutrition that they need on the weekends. Anytime you have kids going hungry it affects your community.”

If lawmakers in Washington do, in fact, make these cuts, we’re looking at about 15 billion dollars being dropped from the SNAP program each year over the next decade.

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