Food stamp cuts

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development has urged the US House of Representatives not to accept a proposed $40 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, California, called the programme “one of the most effective and important federal programmes to combat hunger in the nation”.

In a letter, the bishop said, “SNAP helps relieve pressure on overwhelmed parishes, charities, food banks, pantries and other emergency food providers across the country that could not begin to meet the need for food assistance if SNAP eligibility or benefits were reduced”.

“The Faith community and the private sector are vital in the fight to combat hunger,” he continued. “But government has an indispensable role in safeguarding and promoting the common good of all.

“This includes ensuring that poor and hungry people have access to adequate and nutritious food.”

Bishop Blaire also urged that states should retain the flexibility they currently have to respond to local needs and economic conditions.