Engel, Serrano Call for End to SNAP Cuts

Congressman Eliot Engel, joined by Congressman Jose Serrano, today called for the reversal of the cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at the Food Bank for New York City, saying these necessary benefits must be preserved.

Congressman Eliot Engel, who was named a Congressional conferee to negotiate the final draft of the Farm Bill, said, “I strongly oppose cuts to SNAP, and find it a moral outrage to gut this program when so many Americans are still recovering from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. More than 47 million Americans are going hungry because of these cuts. Now 22 million children, and their parents, 9 million seniors and people with disabilities, and 1 million veterans will have to make do with only $1.40 to spend per meal.

“As the Conference Committee meets, I will continue to support the changes proposed by the Senate version of the Farm Bill that authorizes a higher level of funding for our needy families. It is disgraceful that we would allow 47 million Americans, including 3.2 million New Yorkers, to go hungry while we raise farm price supports.”

The 12-term congressman was joined at the New York Anti-Hunger Roundtable at Food Bank for New York by Congressman Jose Serrano in Hunts Point. Rep. Serrano said, “SNAP is a critical and proven poverty-reduction program for our nation's most vulnerable Americans. In a rich nation like ours, it is shameful to think first that we have hungry people but also to think that we might cut programs that help people buy food. These cuts are harmful and unnecessary, especially when rich folks continue to have tax breaks and subsidies. Taking food out of the mouths of children in order to preserve tax breaks for the rich is not fair and is not right. I salute the anti-hunger leaders here today, and all those that are working so hard to keep food on the table of those most in need. Their work is invaluable, but cannot substitute for a robust and well-funded federal SNAP program. It is imperative that we reverse these harmful cuts and keep people from going hungry.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, SNAP lifted 4 million people out of poverty in 2012. And, despite assumptions to the contrary, most SNAP families with children that include at least one working-age, non-disabled adult are working households.

House Republican proposals for SNAP contain $40 billion in cuts over 10 years.