**Media Release** ICAN Delivers Petitions to Members of Congress to End Political “Hunger Games”


SEPTEMBER 18, 2013

CONTACT:  Sue Dinsdale

EMAIL: sdinsdale@iowacan.org

PHONE: 515-480-3240

Iowa Residents Petition Members of Congress to End Political “Hunger Games” in Response to Proposed SNAP Cuts

Don’t Take Food from Kids While Protecting Corporate Tax Loopholes

Des Moines, Iowa  – Iowa Citizen Action Network delivered a petition to US Representative Tom Latham’s Des Moines office today on behalf of nearly 200 Iowans including: anti-hunger advocates, people who depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), small business owners, farmers, educators, retirees, veterans and others to remind him that Iowan’s are counting on his support. The delivery was timed  in response to a likely vote in the U.S. House of Representatives this week that would cut food assistance by $40 billion over 10 years and affect up to six million Americans. 

The petition was also delivered via email to Representatives Braley, King and Loebsack.

The petition says:

 We, the undersigned, are joining together to give a voice to veterans, children, senior citizens and families in our communities.

We are asking our US Representatives to stand up for our neighbors in need. Don’t throw them off of life-saving food assistance.

Vote NO on cutting off food assistance (SNAP) Benefits for poor and low-income Iowa families!

Over the last two years, Congress has already cut over a trillion dollars from services and benefits provided through programs like SNAP. At the same time that Republican leaders are promoting this new cut, they refuse to end tax loopholes that corporate giants use to avoid paying any federal income taxes, or dramatically reduce what they pay, despite making billions in profits.

Congress has already stacked the deck against the middle-class and working families in this country by making across-the-board cuts to healthcare, education and public safety,” said Sue Dinsdale, Executive Director of Iowa Citizen Action Network. “Now on top of those cuts, it will punish hungry children, families and seniors while it continues to reward corporations with tax breaks and loopholes.”

The proposed $40 billion cut to SNAP, also known as Food Stamps, would come on top of across-the-board cuts to SNAP slated to begin in November, which would lower the average benefit per person to less than $1.40 per meal. The $40 billion cut would impact a range of people but would disproportionately hurt children, who make up almost half of SNAP recipients.

In 2011, nearly 1 million children lived in families that had to limit how much they could eat because of an inability to afford food. Food insecurity among such families would increase if SNAP benefits were cut under the new legislation proposed by House Republican leaders. The $40 billion cut over the next 10 years would also:

  •  Cut nutrition assistance for 210,000 children who receive free meals at school
  • Cut food assistance for 170,000 veterans who depend on SNAP
  • Place increased burdens on churches, food pantries, soup kitchens and agencies who in communities with large populations facing food insecurity

“It’s outrageous that Congress would play political games with people who are struggling to put food on the table. We are confident that our Iowa Representatives will stand up and protect families and communities,” said Dinsdale.