Cuts To Food Stamps Will Hurt 900,000 Veterans

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will affect 900,000 American veterans in the coming months, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).

An automatic cut to the food-stamp program will go into effect on Nov. 1 when a 2009 stimulus bill expires. SNAP will lose $5 billion in federal spending during the next year.

SNAP currently receives $80 billion per year and offers benefits to 48 million people — that’s 14 percent of all households in the U.S.

“Nationwide, in any given month, a total of 900,000 veterans nationwide lived in households that relied on SNAP to provide food for their families in 2011,” said the CBPP.

After the cuts, food stamps will average less than $1.40 per person per meal, according to ThinkProgress.

“The cut is equivalent to about 16 meals a month for a family of three based on the cost of the U.S. Agriculture Department’s ‘Thrifty Food Plan,’” wrote the CBPP.

Families of four stand to lose about $36 per month and individuals will lose $11 per month.

American veterans are disproportionately more likely to live in poverty and be homeless than other Americans. The unemployment rate for veterans who served since 2001 is 9.7 percent. Nearly one in every 10 veterans with disabilities were unemployed in 2010.

This week the House and Senate will vote on another SNAP funding bill. The GOP wants to reduce spending on the program by another $39 billion over 10 years by upping restrictions to qualify and dropping 6 million people from SNAP, the Washington Post reported.

Sources: Washington Post, ThinkProgress