January 3

The Dec. 31 editorial “Closing a food stamp loophole” was a sad New Year’s greeting for hungry people in the District and across the country. Based on Congressional Budget Office analysis, undercutting the “heat and eat” streamlining option would slash food benefits for 850,000 households, including many in the District, by $90 per month.

Many families are already strapped to provide enough food with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as food stamps) benefits that average about $1.40 per person per meal. Elimination of “heat and eat” would mean missed meals, especially for people with disabilities and older adults.

The Post suggested that carrying out this cut could help in the fight against those in Congress who have it in for this program, but cuts can’t stave off more cuts. If that were so, the SNAP cuts that took effect Nov. 1 would have eliminated the threat.

Until recently, SNAP enjoyed widespread bipartisan support because it works for families and the economy. To truly help low- income families, Congress should be looking for ways to help families to afford more food, not less.

Alexandra Ashbrook, Washington

The writer is director of D.C. Hunger Solutions, an initiative of the Food Research and Action Center.