Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty Op-Ed: Cuts in SNAP Would Hurt the Most Vulnerable

NM Center on Law and Poverty Collage
There is a strong chance that the Farm Bill might come to the floor of the House this week.  And that bill is likely to contain the $21 billion in cuts to SNAP approved by the House Agriculture Committee.  According to The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty (NMCLP), this is a strong concern for our state, since cuts in food-stamp benefits could affect the most vulnerable members of our population.  Our two largest newspapers have weighed in on the SNAP debate, with the New Mexican (Santa Fe) offering strong support for the program, and the Albuquerque Journal advocating for cuts

Other voices have come forward,, including NMCLP executive director Kim Posich, who published an Op-Ed in  the Albuquerque Journal on Monday, June 17.  Here are a few excerpts:

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – formerly known as the food stamp program – provides food assistance to over 450,000 low-income New Mexicans. The assistance is in the form of a small monthly stipend put on an EBT card that families can use in their local grocery to help put food on the table.

When added up, the stipends amount to over $ 650 million federal dollars going directly into New Mexican grocery stores every year.

Those who argue for cutting the nutrition program may not know all the facts. The great majority of recipients of SNAP food assistance are children, the disabled and the elderly. Recipients who don’t fit into one of these categories are mostly working adults who toil in low-paying jobs.

The relatively few adults who receive food assistance but aren’t working are special cases, such as pregnant women or a small number of people living in areas of very high unemployment.

These are all people who need help.

Here is the full piece entitled Cutting Food Money Profound Mistake.  (If you are not a subscriber to the newspaper online or via delivery, you can still see the article by answering a couple of questions related to advertisers).

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