|Bishop Oscar Cantú|
Deep cuts to food assistance a moral scandal
During Labor Day weekend we take time to reflect on what allows us to "put food on the table." In my line of work, as a pastor, I encounter people regularly who have to make difficult choices that no one should have to make: do I buy food or do I pay my rent? Many of our churches, synagogues, schools and community centers try to lend a hand to families in need. In many cases, the aid is appreciated but insufficient to get the family to a position of self-sufficiency.
It is during this time when so many Americans struggle to find work and put meals on the table that lawmakers in Washington are cutting a vital lifeline -- food assistance -- that protects vulnerable families from falling into poverty. This is a moral scandal that betrays our nation's best values and highest ideals.
The U.S. House of Representatives is targeting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. SNAP is widely regarded as the nation's most effective anti-hunger program. It kept more than 4 million people out of poverty in 2011, according to the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and reduced the number of children living in extreme poverty that year by half. The House is proposing to slash $40 billion over the next decade from this successful program -- double the amount lawmakers considered Read full opinion piece