Washington, D.C. — In anticipation of the upcoming House vote on legislation to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the Center for American Progress today released “Stop Slashing SNAP” and “30 Years of Tackling Hunger on a Bipartisan Basis Is in Danger of Failing This Fall.” Together, the resources illustrate how nutrition assistance lifts millions of Americans out of poverty while also substantially benefiting the economy and explain why, for the past three decades, members of Congress have been able to reach across the aisle and work together to tackle the pressing problem of hunger.
There’s nothing partisan about the way that hunger impacts struggling families from urban to rural areas, across districts, and across states. That is why Congress has come together for decades—despite party lines—to assist families fighting against hunger. As SNAP sits on the brink of serious and devastating cuts, Congress should take a closer look at the efficiency and effectiveness of the program, its impact on economic activity, and the reasons it has always been a bipartisan effort to address a serious problem facing families in our country.
In 2011, the program lifted 4.7 million people out of poverty, and new research shows that SNAP cut extreme poverty—defined as households with children living on $2 or less per person per day—almost in half in 2011. The program is also designed to expand and contract in response to current economic conditions. Finally, SNAP is good for the economy. In addition to putting food on the table for struggling families, the program is an efficient economic stimulus with a good return for taxpayers. Moody’s Analytics estimates that every $1 increase in SNAP benefits generates $1.70 in economic activity. Not only that, but the Congressional Budget Office considered increasing SNAP benefits one of the most cost-effective expenditures of tax dollars in its consideration of boosting growth and jobs in a weak economy.
Tomorrow, the U.S. Census Bureau will release new data on income, poverty, and health. The data will shed light on the number of people kept out of poverty last year by nutrition assistance. The following Center for American Progress experts will be available to comment on the data:
- Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress
- Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President, Policy
- Melissa Boteach, Director, Poverty and Prosperity Program, Center for American Progress
- Erik Stegman, Half in Ten Manager at CAP Action
- Stop playing politics with hunger by former Sens. Bob Dole and Tom Daschle (Los Angeles Times)
To speak with experts on this issue, please contact Madeline Meth at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.741.6277.