Taking food from the hungry

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are proposing to cut $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (S.N.A.P., formerly known as food stamps). This drastic cut will take away food from up to 6 million people, including kids, seniors and veterans.

Almost half of S.N.A.P. recipients are children and another 22 percent are adults living with children. The vast majority of S.N.A.P. recipients who are not disabled and can work, do so. More than 80 percent of working-age S.N.A.P. recipients have a job while, just before or soon after receiving benefits.

Cuts to S.N.A.P. would cost 55,000 jobs in the first year alone. This huge cut to food assistance is cruel and unnecessary. Instead of reducing food assistance to American families, Congress should be closing tax loopholes for corporations and the wealthy that cost us tens of billions of dollars every year. It’s outrageous that corporate giants like General Electric, Wells Fargo and Verizon go years without paying federal income taxes, despite billions in profits. Congress has already cut over a trillion dollars from programs that serve and protect working Americans – but corporations haven’t contributed a single dime to deficit reduction.

Instead of taking food out of the mouths of hungry children, Congress should stop the gravy train for corporations and the wealthy.

Jerry L. Payne