Children’s HealthWatch research on the importance of SNAP was featured in the Huffington Post.
Ghosts of Hunger Past, Present, and Future
In terms of the incredible impact SNAP and federal nutrition programs have made on child health, researchers at Children’s HealthWatch have described nutrition assistance as a powerful vaccine against the dangers of food insecurity. Children from food-insecure families are 90% more likely than children from food-secure families to have their health reported as “fair” or “poor” (versus “good” or “excellent”). Their doctors seem to agree, because the odds of having been hospitalized are 31% greater for food-insecure children than for kids who have regular access to nutritious food through programs like SNAP and school meals.
Despite all these significant supports for poor and struggling families, federal nutrition programs are facing very drastic cuts from both of the Farm Bills being considered in Congress. In June, the Senate passed a bill (S. 954) that would cut SNAP by $4 billion over 10 years. This past September, the House of Representatives passed a bill (H.R. 3102) that would cut SNAP by $40 billion over 10 years. The two chambers are in the process of reconciling these misguided pieces of legislation. The American Academy of Pediatrics denounced the House bill, and reminded our members of Congress that because children receive almost 50% of all SNAP benefits, they will suffer disproportionately from these cuts.