As Congress considers cutting up to 2 million people off of SNAP, it’s worth taking a little bit of time to think about who these people are. Forty-five percent of them are children, and another 26 percent are adults who live with children. Many of the rest are the elderly or disabled. Most of the ‘other section’ is actually composed of elderly and disabled who do not live alone, but I was not able to display those categories in the pie chart since they overlap with “Adults with Children.”
There are also a lot of personal stories that aren’t captured by charts. No Kid Hungry has several. This is Sam’s:
“When my wife first told me she thought we may be able to get assistance through the SNAP program I said no, I have to take care of the family. I have to do it. I am supposed to do it. My grandfather did it, my dad did it, I can do it, and it’s a kick in the face when you admit you can’t.” Sam is a married father of two young children. He earned a decent living selling cars without a college degree. He wanted to be a better role model for his children and secure a better life for his family, so with the help of Federal Pell grants, he went back to school full-time to earn his bachelor’s degree. To help support the family while Sam is in school, his wife went back to work but can only get part-time hours from the healthcare center where she is employed. The family has struggled financially since Sam went back to school, but he was too proud at first to apply for government assistance. He broke down one day when he realized there was not enough money in their checking account to buy diapers and milk for his son. SNAP has been a huge help to their family in this challenging season.