My last couple of posts have been mostly about what's going on in entertainment. But if you follow my blog, you know that a few months ago I said I wanted to include a portion of what I do at my job in my blog. Just as a reminder, I work at the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance with the No Kid Hungry Campaign. I assist with increasing SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program formerly known as Food Stamps) participation and increasing summer feeding sites. Even though the work is sometimes a challenge, I enjoy what I do. But I feel there is going to be an even bigger challenge in the years to come concerning SNAP and WIC (Women Infants and Children).
This is my sad face if these programs are cut
For the 2012 Budget, Congress is considering cutting funding to nutrition programs like SNAP and WIC. This could mean a harsh blow to low-income families, especially with unemployment being high. Before I go any further I do want to mention that I am not a political science major, that I'm not that up on my politics, and not even really that interested in politics. I say that to say this, starting a political debate with me is a waste of time. All information is this blog post is me just stating the facts and not arguing for one party or the other. If I am arguing for anyone it is for the human party (was that corny?).
But I digress. If this budget is passed, there will be drastic cuts to not only SNAP but also TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistant Program) and a $700 million cut (The Chicago Times, 2011) to WIC. WIC provides foods high in nutrients(beans, peanut butter, milk) that are critical to infants and children during critical growth and development. Most mothers are eligible for this program. This program saves billions of dollars in health costs that could be accumulated by these children if they do not get these foods. But yet, this is the program that could be potentially cut.
In the 2012 Budget, SNAP will not be cut completely. Each state will be given a block grant for SNAP benefits (Public News Service, 2011). If this happens it could mean that either the Department of Human Services (DHS) would have to change the eligibility for participants which could mean decreasing the resource limit (In Arkansas, you can own a home and still qualify for SNAP benefits) or lowering the amount of benefits a family can have. Either way more people could possibly go hungry.
What puzzles me is that programs that help families be at ease because they can feed their families are being cut while billions of dollars are spent on wars and the rich get tax cut after tax cut. Have those making decisions concerning the welfare of our country become so removed from those they serve that they cannot see how these budget cuts could put low-income families in a deeper hole of poverty? As I stated before I am not into politics but a blind man can see these potential budget cuts are unfair to those who desperately need them.