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Food Stamp Cuts Threaten to Leave Many San Antonians Hungry

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Cole debunks another fallacious and oft-peddled idea that food stamps are an “African-American community issue.”

“It’s interesting, people often think of SNAP as something that largely benefits African Americans, but the average SNAP recipient is a 30-year-old, white single mother raising a family of three,” says Cole.

While families and food banks struggle with the recent decrease, they are bracing for a possible second round of cuts that could further erode the food safety net. In both versions of the U.S. Farm Bill—which funds agriculture and nutrition—food stamps are slated for additional cuts. While the Senate version would cut $4 billion over the next decade, the House bill slashes $40 billion from the food assistance program. U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) tells the Current she and other Dems voted against the House Farm Bill in order to “save” SNAP. The strategy takes into account Republicans who also voted against the bill because the cuts to the program weren’t deep enough. Johnson instead co-sponsored a bill that would extend the SNAP benefit increases.

“The cuts for food stamps really impact low-income working Americans in addition to those that are not employed. And of course, in Texas there’s a clear demand,” says Johnson. “Texas has [the] largest number of working people that are eligible for food stamps[of] any other state. We are trying very hard to make sure children get access to food.”

Held up largely by debate over food stamp reductions, a compromise on the bill is currently being negotiated by legislators.

“We don’t plan to give up on it yet,” Johnson added.

Cooper and Cole echo each other—another hit to food stamps would be disastrous to food security in Texas.

“We estimate we would have to double our size just to make up for the loss in November,” says Cooper. “We’re trying to make up that gap, but boy, if Congress decides to cut additional dollars … we won’t be able to do it.”

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