Expected to expire September 30th, the current Farm Bill is looking rather neglected, as there will be no decisions made until after the election in November. What’s holding it up is said to be the supplemental nutrition program and how much should be spent on food stamps. So how much should be spent on food stamps? Should they just make the cuts and people can go fend for themselves? With the amount of food stamp users at an all time high and with an 8.3% unemployment rate it’s on wonder that almost one in five families need assistance.Last week we asked our Gaia Wellness audience a few questions about the SNAP program, here’s what they had to say:
Q.1 Last year, one in five Americans had trouble paying for food. What do you think are some reasons why 18.2% of Americans struggled to feed their families?
The best answer was “Unemployment and a minimum wage that doesn’t reflect a living wage.” other answers reflected that a lack of work and the high prices of food contribute to this struggle.
Q.2 The unemployment rate is currently at 8.3%. Do you believe that now’s a good time to make cuts to a program that helps families stay healthy while struggling to find work?
Everyone agreed “No, because poor economic conditions is when families need help staying healthy the most.”
Q.3 If you suddenly lost your job would you turn to a program like SNAP to help you purchase food in your time of need?
Most agreed that, “If I could qualify for it, yes.”
Q.4 With almost 50% of SNAP recipients being children, the cuts that the senate is posing on the 2012 Farm Bill will likely leave many children hungry. What do you think can be done to help counter this effect?
This question produced the most interesting results as many responded by holding the community accountable for improving the situation. “Communities need to provide for their own. There should be plenty of resources and help for the less fortunate.”, “Growing food in local communities for those in need.” Seems like a simple solution. ”The government needs to find a new place to cut from. How about raising the taxes on beer,cigarettes, soda. etc.” It’s true that many other things can be taxed and even the program itself can benefit from soft drink restrictions.
Q.5 Do you believe there should be more food restrictions set for SNAP recipients? For example junk food and luxury items like pastries form the bakery or soda?
Yes and No
“Soda should be restricted from snap it is one of the main reasons that children are obese.”
“No, I don’t, because people should be able to make their dietary decisions themselves and it’s ridiculous to expect anyone to suddenly change their dietary habits.”
Unfortunately the Farm Bill will be left on the table, with do deceptions or extensions, until after the 2012 Presidential Elections.
Here is more info on the 2012 Farm Bill from NBC News