A report released yesterday is more proof that looming cuts to critical food assistance are misguided and would harm thousands of vulnerable Minnesotans.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture report found that almost one in nine Minnesota households struggled against hunger in 2012.
Of the 228,000 Minnesota households experiencing this food insecurity, 45 percent experienced very low food security – meaning that one or more household members had to reduce their food intake at least some time in 2012.
The data show that too many of Minnesota’s families are unable to make ends meet, and why food assistance like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) remains an important way to make sure people have enough to eat.
Currently, 276,404 Minnesota households, including parents, children, seniors, people with disabilities and others, use SNAP.
SNAP benefits are modest. On average, SNAP provides about $8 a day for a household and $4 for a person. That small amount makes a big difference. In 2011 alone, SNAP helped to lift 4.7 million Americans, including 2.1 million children, out of poverty.
Yet, as early as next week, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to consider legislation that would cut SNAP by $40 billion over 10 years. It would eliminate SNAP benefits for at least 41,000 Minnesotans. That’s on top of an already scheduled $5 billion cut to SNAP beginning November 1.
The proposed cuts would increase hunger among Minnesotans who still struggle to put food on the table during the slow economic recovery.
-Leah Gardner and Clark Biegler