NEW YORK – New York’s junior U.S. Senator is calling for an increase in federal funding for food stamp – or “SNAP” – programs across the country.
With the U.S. Senate set to debate the 2013 Farm Bill this week, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D – New York) – a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee – is leading a coalition of one-third of her Senate colleagues pushing the Committee to fully fund the nation’s food stamp program and restore cuts that have already been proposed by other lawmakers.
During a press conference on Friday, Gillibrand announced her plans to introduce an amendment to the Farm Bill to restore the proposed Senate cuts, as she did last year when the bill was on the Senate floor. The 2012 Farm Bill passed the Senate but was never signed into law due to the House not taking up their version of the Farm Bill.
Starting this week, the Senate Ag Committee will again move forward on proposed legislation, which is expected to slash an estimated $4.1 billion in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – commonly referred to as SNAP – over the next decade. These cuts would result in an average benefit reduction of $90 per month for nearly a half a million households.
Gillibrand said that under this proposal, New York State would lose nearly $300 million per year in SNAP funding, with upstate set to lose $94,000 in funding.
Gillibrand said more than half of food stamp recipients are children, eight percent are seniors and more veterans are using food stamps than any other time in history. She added that in this tough economy, a family losing this access to food assistance would be devastating.