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Congress must act to strengthen SNAP

There is a lot in President Obama’s budget to talk about (“Few love Obama’s 2014 budget,” April 10 News). One aspect has been overlooked: his proposal to head-off harmful cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the new name for the Food Stamp Program, that are scheduled to happen in November. This is a vital step toward helping low-income people in New York State afford and access healthy food.

SNAP is the first line of defense against hunger for the more than 16 percent of New Yorkers who struggle to afford enough food. SNAP not only relieves hunger and boosts nutrition, it also boosts our economy because every SNAP dollar spent generates $1.79 in local economic activity. As Congress takes up the Farm Bill, it must ensure that struggling New Yorkers and Americans don’t suffer from mindless deficit reduction. Congress needs to address hunger with the urgency the situation demands. Passing a good Farm Bill that strengthens SNAP is the first step.

Linda Bopp

Executive Director

Hunger Solutions New York