SNAP cuts risky

It should go without saying that no child deserves to go hungry.

But with the House of Representatives’ recent vote to cut $150 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), it seems this is not a closed debate anymore. And that puts the 20 million children who currently participate in SNAP, or food stamps, at risk of going hungry.

As a pediatrician, I’m especially concerned because these cuts will hit hardest for the children I see on a daily basis: those living with special health-care needs–and their families.

It was clear from the first day of my residency that dealing with a child’s illness is never easy. And when I began my fellowship at Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, I realized that systemic problems like poverty and hunger make it even more difficult for families to meet their children’s health-care needs. I continue to see over and over that treating an illness can seem easier than figuring out what to do about systemic problems.