Saturday, September 21, 2013

Tammy Duckworth speaks on behalf of SNAP recipients in the House

Tammy Duckworth's response on Cuts to the SNAP Program

Congresswoman  Tammy  Duckworth
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Dear Neighbors,  
Rep. Tammy Duckworth speaks on the House floor in opposition of SNAP cuts

This week, the House of Representatives passed a $39 billion dollar cut to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), by a vote of 217-210.
The $39 billion in cuts would slash benefits to as many as 6 million Americans, including 170,000 Veterans. The average benefit for SNAP is only $4.50 a day - just $1.50 a meal. As someone who benefitted from food stamps when I was a teenager, I know how important this safety net can be.
In our district the poverty rate rose from 5.3% in 2000 to 9.2% in 2011. Additionally, 22,241 of our neighbors in the 8thDistrict currently use the SNAP program.
We need to be finding ways to reduce poverty in our communities, not cutting programs like SNAP that work.
Out of all of the people that use the SNAP program, 76% of households include a child, elderly person, or person with disabilities. These families cannot afford the uncertainty that comes from not knowing where their next meal will come from.
This benefit is the difference between a child going to bed hungry or having the energy to focus on school. It is the safety net that allows low-income seniors to be able to both eat and afford medication.
Food pantries and other nonprofits, like the Greater Chicago Food Depository, had a record number of pantry visits in their last fiscal year, with 5.5 million visits in Cook County alone. Despite their efforts, charitable organizations cannot make up the gap created by a cut in SNAP.
Earlier this week, I gave a one minute speech on the House floor regarding these cuts. You can watch that statement here.
I hope you will consider how important this program is to our community and our families.


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