Kingwood Area Democrat expressed grave concern over the least among us. That so many that claim to profess Christianity are derelict in their own faith says much about their failed society.
Recently, there have been several articles in our Texas newspapers about the Nov. 1 automatic cuts to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or Food Stamps). These cuts are the result of the expiration of the 2009 stimulus program. Those concerned about hunger in our country had hoped that the level of SNAP payments under this program would be maintained.
These cuts are expected to have a serious impact on Texas families and, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, “the cut is the equivalent to 16 meals a month for a family of three.” The Washington Post reports that a family of 4 will lose about $36 in food aid per month, which for families spending about $2 per meal is very significant. The poor in Harris County will see a $68.5 million loss of benefits over the next year.
Who receives Food Stamps? They are the most vulnerable among us: three-fourths of households receiving benefits include a child or someone who is elderly or disabled. Most able-bodied adults receiving benefits are employed and work. There are strict limits on how long and how often those without dependents can receive benefits and there is a work or job training requirement. Houston’s relatively low unemployment rate masks the fact that many workers cannot find jobs or are in low wage jobs which do not provide enough income to feed families. Over 2,000 veterans in Texas and the families of many active duty military personnel, who are paid inadequate wages, are included in those receiving food stamps. Is Congress expecting that churches, food banks (such as HAAM), and you and I will step in to fund $68.5 million in food aid to the needy in our area?