How To Call Your Rep About SNAP, Because It Affects So Many Kids
No child should ever have to go to bed hungry. This should be the baseline for every society across the planet; children should never go hungry. Never worry about where their next meal might be coming from. The fundamental wrongness of a child going hungry is the sort of thing that keeps the good people of the world up at night, and so it should. So too all you good people of the world, here's how to call your rep about SNAP and let them know that you want to make sure that all children from every socio-economic background go to bed with full bellies every night.
SNAP is also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and it has one mandate; feed people. As noted on SNAP's website; SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net. The Food and Nutrition Service works with State agencies, nutrition educators, and neighborhood and faith-based organizations to ensure that those eligible for nutrition assistance can make informed decisions about applying for the program and can access benefits." This is a government-funded program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture that feeds families, feeds children, and feeds eligible low-income elderly people.
And the Trump administration has proposed making deep cuts to the program and taking benefits away from families in need.
Romper reached out to the White House for comment and is waiting for a reply.
President Trump first started to take aim at SNAP back in February, when he thought it would be a good idea to take food choice away from SNAP recipients. As the program stands right now, recipients are given money loaded on to their EBT card and can buy anything they like within the food guidelines laid out by the USDA. Any SNAP recipient who receives $90 per month, which is more than 80 percent, according to NPR, would get around half of their benefits in the form of a "USDA food package" which would consist of " "shelf-stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruit and vegetables." Note the absence of fresh fruit or vegetables in this food package.
If Trump's proposal to cut a full $213 billion (30 percent) from SNAP over the next few years is approved by Congress, millions of children could go hungry. In fact, children make up almost half of all SNAP recipients; 44 percent in total. And realistically speaking, the cost of shipping out these food boxes, especially to sparsely populated rural areas where many SNAP recipients live, is going to eat up a significant amount of the reduced budget in administrative and shipping costs. All because the Trump administration does not appear to trust parents to choose food for their own children. As James Zilliak, director of the University of Kentucky's Poverty Research Center pointed out to Vox, the government is tampering with a system that actually works:
The evidence shows that the program actually works. Not all programs work. But SNAP actually is one of those that does what it is supposed to be doing.
On Tuesday, the United Way is hosting a National Call-in and Digital Day of Action in support of the SNAP program. The United Way is encouraging people to speak out against Congress approving cuts to such a vital safety net, especially for children. With that in mind, they have provided a form to fill out to have you directly linked to your local representative, or you can simply enter your ZIP code on House.gov to find out who your rep is and how to contact them.
So call them up and tell them you don't want children to go to bed without proper nutrition. And remind them they probably feel the same way.