Shouldn't all Americans, including low-income families, share in this nation's unparalleled food bounty?
So you'd think, and so has been the practice for decades, thanks to nutrition programs designed to ensure that a supply of good food is within everyone's reach.
Chief among them is the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, popularly known by the old name, food stamps. Since the 1970s, rural and urban interests in Congress, which are far apart on many issues, have come together to support both agricultural subsidies and those nutrition programs important to scores of millions of our most vulnerable citizens.
This week, however, that once unshakeable coalition of food producers and anti-hunger interests was rent asunder when the Republican-led U.S. House passed a farm bill renewal that included farm policy and subsidies but cruelly cast aside the nutrition programs.
They are to be taken up later. But make no mistake — this House majority is hostile to food stamps both for expense and anti-big-government reasons.
The House farm bill has dire implications for the scores of millions of income-eligible Americans who depend upon food stamps. That includes more than 400,000 recipients in Connecticut as of last month. Participation is increasing markedly in this state. In June of last year, the number was 371,496, some 30,000 fewer.
All five of Connecticut's House members voted against this harmful legislation. But if some in the House majority had their way, the food stamp program would be drastically cut back or scrapped altogether.
Let's hope Congress soon comes to its senses.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun