Top Five on Friday – Sept. 20

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Top Five on Friday – Sept. 20


By Katie Stanton
Social Media & Online Engagement Manager, YWCA USA

Last night, the House of Representatives narrowly approved cutting funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by $40 billion in a bill that would remove nearly four million Americans from receiving assistance.

As the looming Congressional fight over government spending approaches, the YWCA will continue to advocate for policies and bills like SNAP that will support women and their families. We hope you’ll join us!

1. More and more Americans are turning to food stamps each day, despite the economic recovery.

Food stamp rise belies economic recovery, by Greg Toppo and Paul Overberg, USA TODAY

Like many others — including analysts at the Congressional Budget Office — Dean expects food stamp enrollment to taper off as a more robust recovery takes hold, but that may not happen for years. CBO doesn’t expect SNAP enrollment to fall below pre-recession levels until 2019.

“It is very much a barometer of the economy for low-income Americans,” Dean says, “but what it’s telling us is that it’s still a very tumultuous time for them.”

2. Food stamps, or SNAP, have been one of the most successful assistance programs to date.

SNAP Works — So Why Would We Slash It?, by Kevin Hagan, Feed the Children

Some well-fed and successful politicians look at these increases and somehow conclude that poor families must be bilking the system. But the real data shows that SNAP reaches the neediest, most vulnerable people in our nation. The average SNAP household’s income is just 58.5 percent of the federal poverty guideline, and 83 percent of all benefits go to households with a child, senior or disabled person.

3. What kind of effect could a cut to SNAP funding have on the recipients?

How Much the House’s Massive Food Stamp Cuts Might Affect Each District, by Philip Bump, The Atlantic

It’s hard to know how many of those 48 million participants each member of Congress represents. There are a lot of variables at play: participant rates, qualifications, and so on. Given that the decision will be made by a group of 435 representatives of those people, we figured we’d try to estimate the sort of impact each district might see.

4. This vote comes ahead of an upcoming fiscal budget battle, as Congress will run out of money on September 30.

Who voted for and against the food stamp bill?, by Ed O’Keefe, The Washington Post

The vote came at the start of a contentious 10-day stretch that will see the House and Senate fight over a short-term spending plan and begin another battle over raising the federal debt limit.

So how did lawmakers vote on Thursday night?

5. If these proposed cuts go through, 3.5 million Americans, including 170,000 veterans, would lose benefits and struggle even more to feed themselves and their families.

Another Insult to the Poor, by The Editorial Board, The Washington Post

It is nothing new that poor people are stuck and those in the middle class are struggling. The poverty rate, though steady last year, has worsened or failed to improve in 11 of the last 12 years. The latest numbers would have been worse but for “doubling up.” There are currently 10.1 million adults age 25 to 34 who are not in school and who live with parents or others who are not spouses of cohabitating partners. If they were on their own, 43 percent of them would fall below the poverty line, which last year was $11,945 for someone under age 65.

If you have a story that needs to be shared, let us know! Leave a link in the comments or send us a Tweet at @YWCAUSA.