about us


< Back | Next >

In Defense of Food Stamp Programs

When Congress recently threatened to cut support for food stamp programs, the Food Research and Action Center responded.

FRAC prepared a 117-page document, “Editorials, Columns, and Op-Ed Pieces in Opposition to Food Stamp Program Cuts,” which compiles nearly 80 articles from dozens of newspapers across the country.

The clippings treat a variety of issues, ranging from support for low-income people to Congress’ apparent disconnect from the needs of “average citizens.” Many, if not most, articulate sentiments like the following, from the Port Huron (Michigan) Times Herald:

Any budget, especially a national one, is a statement about priorities. How we spend money demonstrates what we really believe. The Congress of the United States needs to be reminded by people of good will that contempt for the poor and the neglect of those in need is not an American value.

In September 2005, FRAC published a report titled “Food Stamp Access in Urban America: A City-by-City Snapshot.” According to the report,

A recent USDA study shows that the costs to families to purchase enough food generally were higher in the cities than in their immediate surroundings or in non-metropolitan areas of the same state …

In a majority of the cities, at least one child in four lived below the poverty line in 2003, and in Atlanta and Detroit it was two children in five …

As of May 2005 in the 25 urban areas [examined by the study], approximately 5.4 million people were receiving food stamps. More than half of the households receiving food stamps contained children, and nearly 80 percent of the benefits issued were paid to households with one or more children. One in five urban food stamp households included an elderly person …

And in contrast to Congress’ proposal to cut benefits, FRAC argues that

[s]ince the nation’s big cities are home to a disproportionate share of poor and hungry Americans, expanding access to the Food Stamp Program in cities is a critically important step toward building an America free of hunger.

* * *

< Back | Next >