The nutrition-only farm bill being considered in the House of Representatives would cut $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), leading to billions of lost meals for low-income people. As a result, 850,000 households would lose an average $90 per month in SNAP benefits, 4 to 6 million individuals would lose their SNAP benefits entirely, and 210,000 children would lose free school meals.

These cuts would come on top of SNAP benefit reductions that will impact all SNAP participants starting in November 2013. Congress voted in 2010 to rescind early a temporary SNAP benefit boost provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The SNAP ARRA cut will cause a family of four to lose $36 per month from their maximum benefits starting in November, a loss of $432 over the course of the year.

Together, the SNAP meals lost in 2014 from the scheduled ARRA cuts and the proposed farm bill cuts (nearly 3.4 billion meals) would exceed the projected annual meal distribution by Feeding America food banks around the country (3.3 billion meals). Following a 46 percent increase in demand during the recession, food banks are already struggling to meet need in their communities and will be unable to make up the difference. Charity can’t make up for lost SNAP meals. Congress must protect SNAP in the farm bill.

Charity Can't Replace Lost SNAP Benefits

Analysis by Feeding America  
1.The $40 billion SNAP cut in the House nutrition-only farm bill divided evenly over 10 years would equal $4 billion in lost SNAP benefits in FY14. Lost meals calculated using average cost of a meal ($2.67) from Feeding America's annual Map the Meal Gap report. 2. The value of SNAP benefits lost due to the ARRA cut is $5 billion in FY14. Lost meals calculated using average cost of a meal ($2.67) from Feeding America's annual Map the Meal Gap report. 3. Feeding America's internal meal projections for Feeding America Fiscal Year 2014 (July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014).