"Support the Farm Bill," Sarah Cobler, Letter to the Editor, Helena Independent Record, December 3, 2013.
The holidays are a time of generosity in Montana. This year, thousands of families across our state will sit down to a holiday meal thanks to local charities and food banks.
This generosity reflects our values. In this nation, we believe everyone should have enough to eat. We believe that no child should be asked to learn on an empty stomach. We believe that in a land of plenty, sitting down to a meal should be a right, not a privilege.
Our national budget should reflect that belief as well.
Instead, the Supplemental Nutrition Access Program faces deep cuts. In November, benefits for all program participants were cut by an average of $8 per person. Unfortunately, for many in Congress, this was not enough. In addition to a $40 billion cut to SNAP, House members also wish to see harsh time limits imposed on those who cannot find work in a still-struggling economy.
While the generosity of Montanans, food banks, and local charities has made the difference for thousands this holiday season, it is not a long term solution. We need to support programs, such as SNAP, that are proven to be effective in lifting people out of poverty, supporting local businesses, boosting the economy, and creating jobs.
A government by the people, for the people, should support its people. We ask our Congressional delegation to support a Farm Bill that supports Montanans in need.
MBPC is a nonprofit organization focused on providing credible and timely research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues that impact low- and moderate-income Montana families.