Street Heat: Progressives Protest Against Food Stamp Cuts Nationwide

SNAP-Waxmanby Pamela Powers Hannley

For weeks, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) has been turning up the heat on Congressional Democrats in an effort to stop the proposed $20 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, AKA food stamps).

On Monday, June 17, PDA members nationwide protested athigh-profile Congressional officesfrom California to Florida to Illinois to Massachusetts.  (At right is the PDA protest outside of Congressman Henry Waxman's office. PDA Advisory Board Chair Mimi Kennedy is in the middle Other photos here.) PDA activists demonstrated at the offices of influential members of Congress, like Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Here is the list:

  • Rep Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader, CA-12: (415) 556-4862
  • Rep Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, DNC Chair, FL-23 954-437-3936
  • Rep Steny Hoyer, House Minority Whip, MD-05 (301) 474-0119
  • Rep Henry Waxman CA-33 310-652-3095
  • Rep Richard Neal, MA-05 (413) 785-0325

On Wednesday, June 19, PDA members visited the offices of more than 200 members of Congress and urged them to vote against the food stamp cuts. In Arizona,PDA activists delivered letters to the offices of Ron Barber, Ann Kirkpatrick, and Kyrsten Sinema.

Read the letter delivered to Congressional offices after the jump.

Here is the text of PDA’s letter to Congress about the proposed food stamp cuts:

Re: Public Policy Should Eliminate Hunger, Not Increase It
June 19, 2013

Dear Congressman Barber,

We are voters in your Congressional District writing to urge you to oppose cuts to Food Stamps—also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP). The House Farm Bill would cut $20.5 billion from SNAP, and any cuts to would increase hunger for millions of vulnerable Americans. We strongly urge you to Oppose any Farm Bill that contains cuts to Food Stamps / SNAP.

Average benefits provided under SNAP are only $133.41 per person per month. Not even $1.50 per meal. After the amendment Rep. Jim McGovern (MA) offered to prevent the cuts failed on a party-line vote, the House Agriculture Committee passed the Farm Bill. We strongly oppose the $20.5 billion cuts that would devastate millions of Americans and inflict costs upon taxpayers far in excess of any supposed “savings.”

Spending for nutrition delivers a huge return on investment. SNAP spending is among the most powerful economic stimuli, with benefits that flow directly and immediately into the economy, enriching domestic farmers and retailers, and creating jobs. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack confirmed, “Every dollar of SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in the economy.” Conversely, decreasing SNAP would cause increased health care costs and incite crime, diminish productivity, stunt childhood development, and impose other collateral damage on innocent American families.

Please oppose any Farm Bill that contains cuts to Food Stamps / SNAP.

We invite continued engagement with you. Please provide us with the name and contact information for your staffer(s) responsible for this issue.

Thank you for your time and attention,

PDA Tucson Steering Comittee

Related articles:

House debates $20.5 billion cuts to food stamps

Activists protest possible cuts to food stamps

Organizations in LA protest possible food stamp cuts

Mayor Bloomberg outlines importance of maintaining funding for SNAP program

Obama opposes food stamp cuts, threatens veto of farm bill

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