NCLR: House Nutrition Bill Will Gut Food Assistance, Plunging More Latinos Into Hunger
September 19 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The House of Representatives today passed the “Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act” (H.R. 3102), which contains devastating cuts to the nation’s most successful food assistance program. Although nutrition policy has historically been included in a larger Farm Bill, this bill will slash $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) over the next ten years and dramatically restrict eligibility for those who need the program most. NCLR (National Council of La Raza) is appalled that the House of Representatives has agreed to these massive reductions in SNAP, the program formerly known as food stamps, despite its proven value as the one of the most effective tools to prevent hunger and keep families out of poverty in this nation.
“This bill takes an axe to one of the most important lifelines that families, and particularly Latino families, rely on to provide basic nutrition for their children. One out of every six Americans currently uses SNAP, with Latinos accounting for about 17 percent of participants. The program is a critical buffer from hunger for children, especially Latino children, who are less likely to have access to food than their non-Hispanic White counterparts,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR.
SNAP also plays a crucial role in reducing poverty, an important concern since one in three Hispanic children currently lives in poverty. The Census Bureau reported this week that SNAP kept four million people out of poverty in 2012, and half of those helped by SNAP are children. Moreover, cutting SNAP is not popular with Latino voters.
“Congress should reject these drastic and misguided attempts to defund one of our most valuable assets to protect our children’s health. Cuts to programs that invest in the nutrition of our children run counter to the values of this nation and put our country’s future needlessly in jeopardy,” Murguía added. “At a time when hardworking families are still struggling to put food on the table, we should be lifting them out of poverty, not pushing them deeper into it.”
NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.