Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) today released the following statement on the 2012 Farm Bill, H.R. 6083, that was approved by the House Agriculture Committee. DeLauro is a senior Democrat on the committee that funds the USDA, which administers the food stamp program, and a longtime nutrition and anti-hunger champion. When the last Farm Bill was passed in 2008 DeLauro was part of an effort to increase food stamps in that bill.
"While it is good news even steeper cuts to the food stamp program were avoided, this bill still contains unacceptable cuts to anti-hunger programs. This is not an abstract problem. If approved, as many as two to three million people would lose access to the food stamp program entirely and nearly 300,000 children would lose access to the free school meals they need to thrive and develop. These proposed cuts show a disregard for the real impact they would have on hungry kids and families across the country.
"Our public policies should reflect our values and, as many in the faith community have argued, should advance the moral responsibilities of the nation to provide for the common good. This bill does not do that. We have to stop these immoral cuts. We cannot let American children and families face the threat of hunger and I will fight with my colleagues when this bill comes to the floor to ensure that they do not."
As approved tonight, the Farm Bill would devastate the program, with over $16 billion in cuts over 10 years. Food Stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), help feed over 46 Americans, roughly 21 million of them kids, with one of the lowest error rates of any federal program.
In DeLauro's district in south central Connecticut nearly one in seven households in 2010 were food insecure--meaning they were not sure if they could afford enough food to feed their families. That same year nearly 50 million Americans faced the real risk of going to bed hungry.