5 Reasons Cutting Food Stamps Will Hurt America's Children

5 Reasons Cutting Food Stamps Will Hurt America's Children

No child living in America should experience hunger, but the rank fact is that one in every five American children know the pangs of gnawing emptiness in their stomachs. Beginning November 1 47 million Americans including 16 million children who experience food scarcity will see their suffering increase. Food shortages are being compounded by cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, formerly called food stamps.  

SNAP was already vulnerable to losses this year as the $45.2 billion investments made as part of the 2009 American Recovery Act were set to expire October 31. The SNAP program was further weakened this summer when Congress passed a bill to reduce funding by $40 billion over the next 10 years. These cuts will take immediate effect. Nearly 2 million people who depend on food assistance will fall off the nutrition assistance program rosters, including 210,000 kids receiving school meals.

1. Hungry Kids Can't Work Well in School

Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and in the Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that hungry children have lower math test scores, come to school late, or miss school entirely.

2. Needy Children Who Don't Get SNAP Get Sick

Children who struggle with food shortages are sick more often, recover more slowly and are more frequently hospitalized. They are also more likely to experience headaches, stomachaches, fatigue, ear infections, and colds. 

3. Food Cuts Have Long-Term Costs

Reduced spending on food assistance for America's children increases spending on health care and on the criminal justice system to the tune of $500 billion a year. 

4. Cuts in SNAP Will Increase Poverty

Since income for households receiving SNAP is already low — $19,350 a year for a family of three — money for food isn't always available. Reduced SNAP benefits will mean shelling out money for food, and this could mean not paying the rent, heating, or other bills. In households where robbing Peter to pay Paul and food shortages are common, many children whose families loose SNAP benefits could end up destitute or homeless.

5. Hungry Kids Have Behavioral Problems

Children and teens who do not regularly get enough nutritious food to eat have significantly higher levels of behavioral, emotional and academic problems. They are also more aggressive and anxious, and are more likely to be suspended from school and have difficulty getting along with other kids.

 

 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Kendra Tappin

is a writer and research scholar trained at Barnard College and Stanford University. She is currently a graduate student at the George Washington University in the School of Public Health. Her work covers a range of public health and social policy issues including maternal and child health, education, early childhood development, social mobility and inequality. Kendra is also the mother of 3 year old, identical twin girls. For fun she spends time with her family, experiments with cooking new recipes, and watches Olivia Pope.

MORE FROM

Anthony Scaramucci acknowledges “colorful language” after ‘New Yorker’ published his wild rant

Scaramucci's "colorful language" revealed the high-stakes tension going on at the White House.

Lindsey Graham says he is creating legislation to block Trump from firing Mueller

Graham said earlier that ousting Mueller would mark the "beginning of the end of the Trump presidency."

Despite Trump, military leaders say there will be no changes to transgender policy for now

“In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect."

Trump will visit Long Island to discuss gang violence — but some fear he could make the issue worse

Trump has celebrated mass deportations as fighting gang violence — but are his words helping or hurting?

Like his boss, Anthony Scaramucci seems to be a fan of disgraced football coach Joe Paterno

President Donald Trump also gave a shout-out to the late Penn State coach during the 2016 campaign.

‘Hot Mic’ podcast: Transgender ban, GOP healthcare struggling, video games relieve work stress

What you need to know for Thursday, July 27.

Anthony Scaramucci acknowledges “colorful language” after ‘New Yorker’ published his wild rant

Scaramucci's "colorful language" revealed the high-stakes tension going on at the White House.

Lindsey Graham says he is creating legislation to block Trump from firing Mueller

Graham said earlier that ousting Mueller would mark the "beginning of the end of the Trump presidency."

Despite Trump, military leaders say there will be no changes to transgender policy for now

“In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect."

Trump will visit Long Island to discuss gang violence — but some fear he could make the issue worse

Trump has celebrated mass deportations as fighting gang violence — but are his words helping or hurting?

Like his boss, Anthony Scaramucci seems to be a fan of disgraced football coach Joe Paterno

President Donald Trump also gave a shout-out to the late Penn State coach during the 2016 campaign.

‘Hot Mic’ podcast: Transgender ban, GOP healthcare struggling, video games relieve work stress

What you need to know for Thursday, July 27.