In the last few weeks, the media has been ablaze with news of the government shutdown, the debt limit and health care reform. Missing from most public debate, however, is the cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits that will take place on November 1 and will affect every one of the more than 47 million Americans who depend on the program to help meet their basic nutritional needs.
When the changes are implemented, everyone enrolled in the SNAP program will see their benefits cut. For example, a family of four that qualifies for the maximum monthly benefit will lose $36 a month -- that's a 5% reduction.
Sorry America, Republicans need that money for corporate welfare and subsidies for the energy giants. Feeding Americans? Not real high on Tea Party Jesus's to-do list.
Most families do not have enough to make it through the month already -- 90% of SNAP benefits are redeemed by the third week of the month and 58% of food bank clients currently receiving SNAP turn to food banks for help at least six months out of the year.
The upcoming cuts will result in an increased need for food assistance at food pantries and soup kitchens across the nation when many are already stretched meeting sustained high need in the wake of the recession.
Healthy food is more expensive than super-processed industrial crap. Sure, you can eat $1 cheeseburgers daily, but that's not exactly good for you. Of course, the Republican argument is if you're on SNAP, you don't really get the choice, now do you?
In September, the House passed legislation cutting $40 billion in SNAP over the next 10 years, according to a Feeding America analysis. Together with this week's cuts, the pending legislation will result in a loss of nearly 3.4 billion meals for low-income Americans in 2014 alone, according to a Feeding America analysis. These are meals our most vulnerable citizens cannot afford to lose, and food banks and other charities simply cannot fill that gap.
"Hey waitaminute, are you saying Tea Party Jesus can't feed the poor, you godless commie?!?" Yeah, that comes out to 72 meals a year for 47 million people going away if House Republicans get their way, but Republicans care about the poor. If you eat less, maybe you scumbag poors will work harder, right?
Sometimes the monsters of Halloween are very real, and they stick around the morning after. And the morning after that. And on and on...