It’s the season of giving, write Alexandra Ashbrook and Patty Stonesifer in an op-ed column posted last night. There will be turkey trots and canned food drives and people buying extra bags of groceries for hungry families. But this year, anti-hunger charities and nonprofits (for which both authors work) will have to work to counter the sunset of an increase in SNAP benefits that was introduced to counteract the recent recession. Charities, the authors explain, all combine to equal about five percent of SNAP benefits to the hungry, meaning there is no realistic way for them to cover the gap. The authors want us to contribute to charities, but also to agitate politically for more spending on the needy.
Before we begin, PostScript must inform you that though the op-ed authors didn’t say it, commenters take as a given that Republicans in Congress are in favor of these cuts, and Democrats are against them. See why they think that here.
blbixler will agitate right here, right now, with sarcasm:
The decision to cut food support for the poor was necessary to balance the budget. The one bright spot in this bill is the fact that 14 GOP congressmen will still retain their farm subsidies so their families won’t have to suffer on a miserly six figure income.
While myviewat64 seems to think this cut will create jobs, or so PostScript infers:
Yes, the darn Republicans would like to see people have jobs so that they could buy whatever and as many meals as they wish. What nerve!
RealChoices thinks this cut will affect mostly the able-bodied adults who shouldn’t be on food stamps:
Much as I despise the GOP, they are correct to push for reductions in food stamps. Able bodied childless adults shouldn’t be receiving food stamps. The number of people receiving them has exploded in recent years, way beyond the increase in unemployment. It’s time to scale the program back.
Get off your butts and get a job if you’re hungry. Stop the whining. If you are truly unable to fend for yourself you will be helped. If you’re lazy, get going. As my grandmother used to say: “Root hog or die.”
PostScript supposes that’s a plan. Though if we’re going to be that bleak about it, it’s illusory to imply that it’s an either/or choice. Those who root hog (?) will also die. In fact, it is implied CaliforniaSpeaks’s grandmother did just that. PostScript will now quote Charles Dickens, for some reason.
“At this festive season of the year, Mr Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.”
“Are there no prisons?”
“Plenty of prisons…”
“And the Union workhouses.” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?”
“Both very busy, sir…”
“Those who are badly off must go there.”
“Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”
“If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”
PostScript is pretty sure there actually are no Union workhouses anymore, so there’s that.
lstarestar has a study that SNAP is a big boost to local economies:
CNN Money reported on a Moody’s study re the effect of food stamp programs on the economy. The following is Moody’s finding: “For every dollar spent on that program $1.73 is generated throughout the economy…”
“If someone who is literally living paycheck to paycheck gets an extra dollar, it’s very likely that they will spend that dollar immediately on whatever they need – groceries, to pay the telephone bill, to pay the electric bill…”
Which Boone Mike hopes will lead to some powerful political agitation for SNAP:
Wait until Walmart notices their grocery sales are down. The real benefits of SNAP flow to low wage employers as the taxpayers subsidize the workforce and to retailers such as Walmart.
And so it doesn’t get TOO Dickensian on a sunny Friday, darling1 has an example of feeding the hungry without charities or government — probably not even with tax breaks:
Our local elemetary school has “Family Night” a couple times a month. The PTA provided hot dogs, chips soda, etc. This was besides the regular sports activities. I often wondered why, until I saw that it was actually a cover for feeding”families” in need, but too proud to ask for handouts. Employed but low income people (Mom, dad, grandma, etc.) come out and watch the kids play volleyball or board games. They are mainly low income white people. The service area is continually expanding; and these are folk with real “needs.”