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Turner writes: "Last Wednesday, the agriculture committee of the House of Representatives voted to pass dramatic cuts to the Farm Bill. If passed by Congress, the legislation will remove $16.5 billion from food and hunger relief programs that directly benefit children, seniors and families."

Homeless families like this one will feel the brunt of budget cuts. (photo: Mary Ellen Mark/Time-Life)
Homeless families like this one will feel the brunt of budget cuts. (photo: Mary Ellen Mark/Time-Life)

Farm Bill Budget Cuts Will Mean Millions of Americans Go Hungry

By John Turner, Guardian UK

21 July 12


One in seven Americans relies on food stamps, yet lawmakers are plotting to balance the budget on the backs of the neediest.

he test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

So said President Franklin D Roosevelt, over 75 years ago, in his second inaugural address. This idea could not be any more important than now, when the health of millions of children, their families and older adults are in danger.

Last Wednesday, the agriculture committee of the House of Representatives voted to pass dramatic cuts to the Farm Bill. If passed by Congress, the legislation will remove $16.5bn from food and hunger relief programs that directly benefit children, seniors and families.

Approximately 80% of the Farm Bill budget funds the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Snap) - commonly known as food stamps. As 45 million people - one in seven Americans - currently rely on Snap to help feed and nourish themselves and their families, the program provides the first line of defense in our country's hunger relief network.

The proposed cuts will affect between 2 and 3 million Americans, and more than 300,000 people in Texas, where I work. These people are our neighbors, classmates, co-workers, relatives and friends. Make no mistake, these cuts will hurt many families already straining to pay their summer electric bills, rent and gas, making it harder to put food on their tables.

As almost three in five Snap recipients are children or seniors, the advancement of this legislation is especially troubling as the majority of those who stand to lose Snap benefits are the most vulnerable in our society. The impact will ripple across our country starting in our retirement communities and schools.

More seniors will be forced to choose between medical care and food, or utilities and food. Many families receiving Snap benefits are also eligible for free and reduced lunch. The proposed cuts could also mean lost lunches for hundreds of thousands of children, exacerbating an already intolerable situation.

Here, at the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas, we believe hunger is unacceptable, and urge our lawmakers to figure out a way to balance the budget that doesn't do it off the backs of hungry children, their families and our older adults. (To see how you can help, visit our advocacy page.) It's not too late to help protect the most vulnerable members of our community.

Any other outcome would surely mean that, as a society, we have failed the test Franklin D Roosevelt posed all those years ago. your social media marketing partner


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+5 # ronnewmexico 2012-07-21 15:55
The senate has a opposing bill not calling for the cuts. As the bill contains other items such as dairy farm subsidy, I suspect it will not come to any sort of vote till after the ates could swing one way or another on the farmers vote related to this issue. The bill itself is agriculture on a whole and food stamps while the largest budget item i only a small part of it politically.

So I would not worry now.....republi can majority say in the senate presidency..... yes very worried I would be....right now it is just playing to the house..the tea party members.

Hunger however strikes home like nothing else....a summer after this action if the house has its way...I would expect civil unrest as result in a however seemingly unrelated manner,,,person ally.
+19 # ENetArch 2012-07-21 17:48
When the USSR fell apart, the first thing that the US did was send was send 100,000 tons of wheat to them. Why would we send food aid to our sworn enemy?

When Germany marched into Russia during the 2nd world war, why did they destroy all their crops, burn all their food stores, and destroy anything related to food?

Why was the Queen of France beheaded for saying, "Let them eat cake?"

The rich has yet to remember one very important lesson from these three events. A fully belly is a content belly, a starving belly leads people to look for food. And when a million people march, there won't be enough bullets to stop them from ripping their stores apart.
+2 # ronnewmexico 2012-07-21 19:21
It won't be focused as there really exists not a focused opposition in this manner in the US more akin to the sixties riots which now are largely forgotten...jus t civil unrest riots here and real known cause.

Those that hold power however as back in the day...will have to address their reality...they cannot do business if things are in disarray.

Are they stupid enough to forget the past and lessons of history..... stop food stamp programs which largely prevent such baser things as widespread unrest from occurring.... yes they are quite unfortunately..

The question is will they win the day electorally...I doubt it.
The american people dim they might my takes in matters such as these...a bit wiser, than the power brokers.

In any event it will be unfocused if it occurs and thusly not really being helpful mostly just destructive.
The response may however be productive.
As with the 60's riots... civil rights did proceed and continue, No one would think of removing those rights in that environment. And as with the sometimes violent vietnam demonstrations. ...the war did eventually end.

So bad and good.
+8 # fdawei 2012-07-21 23:27
Have these tin-foil brained (thanks Alan Grayson) lawmakers (joke...LOL) forgotten the poem by Emma Lazarus...Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door. By I digress. There was no such thing as Agribusiness and mean-spirited smug lawmakers at that time.
By the way, why don't you publish the names and email addresses and phone numbers of these "humanitarians" so we can thank them in our own way?
+4 # JetpackAngel 2012-07-22 02:11
Okay, did I wake up this morning in the middle of an Idiocracy sequel and nobody told me? Are they TRYING to incite riots now?
+2 # ronnewmexico 2012-07-22 11:17
Well not really..they are trying to eliminate food stamps. Which right now is in many cases the only thing standing between lower class peoples and extreme malnutrition... ..especially affected are children. More due to the economic are on food stamps than ever. Republicans are calling it middle class welfare.
Since it stops at something around 20k annual income for a family...that of course is absurd.

Food stamps and related agricultural domain programs serve as the principal source of nutrition for a very large amount (millions upon millions) of american children.
History attests to lack of food being a major impetus to civil disorder in industrialized and other societies...

it is said in those fields of study....those fat never riot nor cause social disorder..simpl y keep them well fed.....that will prevent it. Which seems true antidotally...r ioters in the sixties....all thin, every one.

So the idiots....will by this action if successful cause(probably unfocused) social doubt about it.
The american peoples seem to have a gradually eroding appears their leaders do as well...subprime as but one example...they are becoming increasing dangerous not only to others but to themselves...

Commerce can not be held in a societal climate of rticularly in a industrialized society in disruption....i t is by a magnitude of 100 more vulnerable in function to that..
+5 # JSRaleigh 2012-07-22 14:37
Food subsidies may be cut, but subsidies for Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, Dean Foods, Dow AgroSciences, Monsanto and Tyson are not.
+2 # Bigfella 2012-07-22 21:35
Look like food stamps are in the wrong place!
The winners are only the major argro companies not the farmers or the poor!
+2 # John Steinsvold 2012-07-22 21:53
An Alternative to Capitalism (if the people knew about it, they would demand it)

Several decades ago, Margaret Thatcher claimed: "There is no alternative". She was referring to capitalism. Today, this negative attitude still persists.

I would like to offer an alternative to capitalism for the American people to consider. Please click on the following link. It will take you to an essay titled: "Home of the Brave?" which was published by the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:

John Steinsvold

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."~ Albert Einstein

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