Thursday, October 31, 2013

Are Millions About to Go Over the Hunger Cliff?

While the price of food is substantially increasing, the food-stamp program is now set to downsize as there's a big automatic cut scheduled for tomorrow that will trim $5 billion from federal food-stamp spending, disproportionately affecting children, seniors, and people with disabilities. That's not counting the 900.000 veterans and their families who will receive cuts to their benefits as well.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), this cut will average less than $1.40 per person per meal and jeopardize the strength of the current economic recovery. Moreover, according to the Center for American Progress (CAP) "each $1 billion dollar reduction in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program eliminates 13,718 jobs," resulting in more than 68,000 job losses in the coming year.

Keep in mind that programs such as SNAP have what economists call a "multiplier effect"—in other words, "a dollar given to an entitlement recipient has amplified economic benefits. In this case, those consist primarily of the grocers who benefit when food stamp users shop in their stores. The estimated multiplier effect for food stamps is as high as 2 to 1."

Billions more in cuts are scheduled to occur in the following two years, despite the fact that food insecurity in America has not even begun to return to pre-recession levels.

But who cares? The stock market's soaring to new heights despite the income disparity that continues to widen at unprecedented levels.

If you look across the world, riots always begin typically the same way: when people cannot afford to eat food,” -- Margaret Purvis, , president and CEO of the Food bank for New York City,


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