An August 2012 Gallup poll showed 18.2 percent of Americans lacked sufficient money for needed food at least once over the previous year. To make matters worse, the worst drought in half a century impacted 80 percent of agricultural lands in the country, increasing food prices. Despite this, in 2012 Congress considered cutting support for food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as part of the 2013 farm bill.
Proposed Senate cuts would cost about 500,000 households about $90 a month in nutritional assistance. Proposed cuts in the House of Representatives would go much farther than the ones in the Senate, and would have kicked at least 1.8 million people of off food stamps. Republicans controlling the House have been eager to cut spending and were the primary supporters of food stamp cuts.
Opponents of the cuts have expressed concern over the harm the cuts would cause to more vulnerable members of society, namely seniors, children, and working families. Rising food prices would hit Southern states the hardest, while Mountain Plains and Midwest states would be least affected. Despite all the food hardship, the National Resources Defense Council reported 40 percent of food in the country goes to waste.
Source: Mike Ludwig, “Millions Go Hungry as Congress Considers Food Stamp Cuts and Drought Threatens Crops,” Truthout, August 23, 2012. http://truth-out.org/news/item/11067-millions-go-hungry-as-congress-considers-food-stamp-cuts-and-drought-threatens-crops
Student Researcher: Noah Tenney, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator: Andy Lee Roth, Sonoma State University