portion of the cuts passed in the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012 comes from programs that aid the
plan would cancel food stamps for 2 million recipients, cut health care
insurance for children and scale back programs for the elderly and disabled,
like Meals on Wheels.
Dixon Williams is a racial/ethnic outreach associate for Bread for the World,
one of the country’s largest anti-hunger/anti-poverty advocacy groups, and says
the effects of this bill could be devastating.
is judged by how they treat their young people and how they treat their old
people,” said Williams. “It’s important that we contact lawmakers and let our
voices be heard.”
passed the cuts saying the harsh budget was necessary to prevent automatic
spending cuts to the Defense Department that were built into last year’s
debt-ceiling budget deal.
described such cuts as draconian.
understand that we need to reduce the deficit, but we don’t need to reduce it
on the backs of poor and hungry people,” said Williams. “We have resources, we
have places that can be cut.”
really need is to be educated, to have some compassion, and to work for those
kinds of things that will be beneficial for all of our citizens, because I
think everybody counts.”
the World recently published an analysis of federal safety-net programs, with a
particular focus on the elderly.
to the report, in 1966, nearly 29 percent of Americans over age 65 lived in
poverty. In 2010, that number was down to 9 percent. The Christian organization
credits in large part Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for lowering that
also cites two programs for stemming the tide of hunger among the elderly: The
former food stamp program, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program, or SNAP, and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, or CSFP.
programs take significant hits under the House bill passed last week.
of hunger on a society are devastating,” said Williams. “You have a natural resource,
you have a life, you have people who have been productive in society and now
find themselves in a situation where they are not able to feed themselves. Many
are losing their homes because of the recession,” he said.
say that if we don’t do something that it has the potential to get very bad
because you are beginning to get into those Baby Boomers that are coming along,
just the numbers tell you there will be a lot of people depending on these
more people are falling into poverty,” he said.
House Agriculture Committee website says the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program has seen a 77% increase in participation over the last 5 years, now
serving 46 million people.
West Virginia’s Congressional delegation voted
along party lines. Rep. Shelly Moore Capito, R-WV, and Rep. David McKinney,
R-WV, voted in favor of the cuts while Rep. Nick Rahall, D-WV, opposed the
deficit fight now continues in the Democratic–controlled Senate.