60,000 Veterans Among Poorest Americans Hit By Cuts
Average Income of Americans Losing Food Assistance is $3,400 a Year
WASHINGTON, D.C. – With up to one million of the poorest Americans at risk of losing food assistance in 2016, Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) spoke on the House floor on April 20 to urge Republicans in Congress and in states across the country to come together with Democrats to reverse these devastating cuts. Click here for video of speech.
These Americans are at risk of losing their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits because a provision in the 1996 welfare reform law goes back into effect this year that limits adults working less than 20 hours a week or not enrolled in a job training program can only receive three months of SNAP in a 36-month period.
As Congressman McGovern noted, the problem is “many areas of the country haven’t fully recovered from the recession” and for many individuals “there are no open jobs and worker training slots are all full… for individuals who have been searching for a job for months, who have applied to every job posting they’ve seen, and who can’t get into a job training program because the wait list is too long, they’re punished.”
McGovern added that, “SNAP operated like it was supposed to during the recession. It expanded to meet the needs of the millions who lost their jobs, of middle-class families who never imagined they’d need food assistance in the first place. And now, as our economy improves, fewer people need the assistance. But we’re not there yet.”
“Cutting 1 million of the poorest Americans off from food assistance is wrong. Increasing hunger is wrong,” McGovern concluded. “Rather than demonize the poor and diminish their struggle, we ought to come together to help, not hurt people. We ought to end hunger now. This war on the poor has to stop.”