SNAP and poverty: the safety net at work

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities have calculated how many people are lifted above the poverty line thanks to the SNAP program. Their finding: a bit over four million.

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It is not just lifting out of poverty - it also makes the poor less poor:

In addition to keeping some people out of poverty, SNAP also made tens of millions of people less poor in 2012.  For these individuals, the program reduced the gap between their income and the poverty line and made them better able to afford a basic diet.

Even thought SNAP works, the main issue remains: a lot of Americans still struggle to bring food to the table every month.

Data released earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that 17.6 million American households lacked access to adequate food at some point in 2012 because they didn’t have enough money or other resources to meet their basic food needs.

With these data points in mind, it would be ludicrous for a political party to cut a program so essential for so many Americans. Unfortunately, that is what the House Republicans plan on doing just this week, cutting $40 Billion from the program. Cutting SNAP is a terrible idea - it is a very effective program that really helps those in need. It needs to be preserved, not cut; doing so will only hurt working families that can ill afford another hit.

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