Mr. SIRES. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my serious concern about the proposed cuts to funding for food stamps in the 2013 Farm Bill.
Food stamps are critical to the health and wellbeing of our Nation's most vulnerable populations. In my home State of New Jersey, nearly 870,000 households rely on this benefit to feed their families. Of that number, 45 percent are children and nearly 25 percent are either elderly or disabled adults.
As it stands, food stamp benefits average less than $1.50 per person for each meal, and that number is already set to drop to about $1.40 this fall when a temporary boost from the Recovery Act ends.
Every one of us knows how difficult it would be to feed their children or aging parents a nutritious meal for that amount of money. And yet, the farm bill would slash federal spending for food stamps by more than $21 billion over the next decade, eliminating food assistance to nearly 2 million people.
I understand the need to bring our budget under control, but I encourage my colleagues to find a smarter path forward. Let us not balance the budget on the backs of those among us who are the most vulnerable.