As Congress wrestles with its budget resolution to cut $3 billion in agriculture programs, funding for nutrition initiatives such a food stamps could be in danger. An article that local activist Mark Winne wrote in May for In These Times magazine is more relevant than ever at the end of September. "The impact of such cuts on lower-income families would be enormous," said Winne, a member of New Mexico Task Force to End Hunger and the New Mexico Food and Agriculture Policy Council. "For millions of households, food stamp benefits—now encoded on an electronic card that can only be used to purchase food at retail food outlets—are literally the only thing that stands between them and hunger." Read full article
This is why the letter that religious leaders wrote to every member of Congress is so important. Many legislators, including Rep. Heather Wilson, Rep. Tom Udall, Sen. Pete Domenici and Sen. Jeff Bingaman, endorsed the Hunger-Free Communities Act, which calls on our country to cut hunger in half by 2010 and end hunger by 2015. Any reduction in food stamp benefits would be a step in the wrong direction.