by Christina Turner
Food banks across the state warn that national cuts to food stamp programs proposed in Congress could leave millions of Missourians hungry.
The U.S. House passed a bill on Sept. 18 that would cut $40 billion from food stamp funding over the next 10 years. With less money for food stamps, food bank advocates warn people will turn to non-profit groups for meals.
Missouri Food Bank Association Director Scott Baker said on Sept. 17, before the House vote, that Missouri food banks and pantries would not be able to replace millions of meals that would be lost through the cuts.
“As it is, we’re having to supply millions of meals a year to those in need,” Baker said. “To have to basically double that or more because of these cuts, you’re talking about a significant task that the non-profit sector is not prepared to handle at this stage.”
Supporters of the bill argue it would help fix abuse within the food stamp system. The measure now heads to the U.S. Senate.