By Rebecca Plotkin
In an attempt to address the shortcomings of the American food stamp system, a recently proposed bill called for a cut of four billion dollars over the next 10 years. Food stamps are relied upon by families across America and these cuts have stirred up controversy; Obama has even threatened to veto the bill. By making such a drastic cut, the American Government is deserting its people and moving in the wrong direction in the fight against hunger.
Many criticize the distribution of food stamps and ask why people don’t take on multiple jobs or extra hours; those people aren’t thinking about the children who are victims of the inheritance. People born into middle class families may not realize how widespread poverty is among young Americans.
According to nokidhungry.org, one in four children are faced with hunger. Think of how dependent the average child is on his or her parents for food. In fact, according to a survey done by huffingtonpost.com, the average family spends $125 a week on food. Cutting funding to a program that aids innocent people who are born into a family that cannot afford this is unfair. Ultimately, regardless of who their parents are, hungry children are hungry children.
This is not to say that the blame should be put on the child’s parents either. Those who criticize unemployed people may not understand severity of the job market. There are currently 11.3 million people that are jobless, according to bls.gov.
According to freedomworks.org, 40.8 percent of food stamp users have been dependent on the system for 10 or more years. Many say a statistic like this is why food stamps should be cut. While this statistic sheds light on a clear need for change, cutting spending does not account for those people who are truly in need of help.
Policy makers focused on saving our country money should not forget the people who need these dollars the most.
When thinking about poverty and unemployment, picture a 50-year-old accountant who was just laid off, never having fathomed losing her home or being unable to feed her family.
Picture that person’s family navigating a sea of government checks and unpaid electricity bills. Now, picture almost 49 million Americans suffering similar fates. Those people’s stories are the realities behind food stamp cuts.
The purpose of our government is to aid the people. America is fortunate enough to have a government which is designed to represent them; policy makers must not lose sight of this, and the people of America must not let them forget.