U.S. House vote to cut SNAP funding brings mixed reactions in state

Sep 23, 2013

supplemental nutrition assistance program
Credit Selbe B / flickr

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to cut $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and some Missouri social welfare advocates are concerned about the impact of the cut on rural Missourians. SNAP, formerly food stamps, was already expected to receive a fund cut this November.

Missouri Congresswomen Vicky Hartzler voted in favor of passing these reforms, passed by the U.S. House Thursday. She says under the reforms able-bodied individuals with no dependents to be no longer eligible for SNAP. And says this can only be a good thing, for individuals and the state.

Jeanette Mott Oxford is a former state representative who now serves as executive director of the Missouri Association for Welfare. She says she believes this cut would drastically affect the number of people utilizing the program, with more going hungry, especially in rural parts of Missouri.

“None of us benefit when our neighbors go hungry,” Oxford said.

Oxford said she believes the reduction in funds will make eating healthy difficult for those still eligible for the program after the reforms.

Hartzler said she isn’t concerned about this: “I think it will be positive for those individuals and help them get off public assistance, and yet it still provides a safety net for those who truly need it.”

Because the House’s vote ruled in a $36 billion difference from the Senate, Congress will be forced to compromise on the decision. A compromise both women say will probably be a number somewhere in the middle of the two proposed cuts.