The Common Good

Advocates Speak Out About SNAP

Date: September 17, 2013

Jim Wallis is a Christian writer and political activist. He is best known as the founder and editor of Sojourners magazine.

"Our commitment is, we’re going to tell the politicians, ‘You go after the poorest people because you think that’s safe? We’ll make that politically unsafe for you.’ This is wrong, it’s hypocrisy, and it should not be done." Wallis thinks it hypocritical for those opposed to government spending to dole out millions in subsidies to farmers, yet make cuts to food stamps. Mark Dunlea with the Hunger Action Network agrees.

"With hunger at record highs here in the United States and the Capital District, we hope that our Congress representatives, including Congressman Gibson, will vote against any further cuts to the SNAP program, including the pending loss of the economic stimulus. Some Congress members seem to forget that half the people on food stamps already have a job, but don't make enough money to make ends meet."

Calls to Congressman Chris Gibson, a Republican from the Hudson Valley, were not returned.

According to data from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the average SNAP recipient received about $133.41 a month (or about $4.45 a day) in fiscal year 2012. About 20 percent of those receiving SNAP have college degrees. Fifty thousand of those who receive SNAP assistance are veterans.

Wallis says while he considers those who want to cut food stamp benefits morally compromised, he recognizes the importance of reining in government spending as well.