In a sentiment I know he would agree with, I say long live David Murdock.
Recent Cuts in food stamps will hurt produce purchases, too. Because food stamps account for about 10% in grocery store sales now, the reductions in food stamp distributions will, in turn, hurt fresh produce sales at retail. With fresh produce sales typically running at 10% of store sales or better, that’s a hit. This USA Today story says that food banks are already anticipating an increase in demand because of the cutbacks.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn. sent a release out about the $11 billion cuts to food stamps going into effect today and lasting for the next three years.
She explained, in the release, that the cut is a result of an expiration of the 13% increase in food stamp benefits that were provided in the 2009 economic recovery act. In her news release, she noted Congress is currently debating a five-year farm bill; the version supported by Republicans in the House of Representatives contains $40 billion worth of food stamp cuts, while the Senate bill cuts $4.5 billion. Any cuts that come in addition to the $11 billion going into effect today will leave millions of low-income Americans, including children, without necessary access to food, she said. From her release:
“These cuts are terrible for families on the edge, terrible for our economic recovery, and terrible for the future,” DeLauro said. “Imagine we had a miracle vaccine that made everyone who took it healthier, and encouraged children’s growth and brain development. If such a vaccine existed, wouldn’t we try to vaccinate every child in America? We do have that vaccine and it is called food. Food stamps help hungry people get food and it makes a profound difference for people. They have a very real impact on people’s lives, particularly children. I regret the cut in benefits I fought so hard for is happening and will work my hardest to ensure no future cuts occur.”
One press account said a family of four in Texas would receive $36 less per months because of the expiration of the stimulus package. How much of those additional dollars would have been spent on fresh produce?