American Voters Give the Thumbs Up to SNAP & Voice Concerns about Possible Cuts

Flint, Michigan – May 9, 2013 – As Congress is poised to mark up the Farm Bill and possibly cut the nation’s low-income food program, a new poll shows that voters in the U.S. support the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, otherwise known as food stamps or the ‘Food Assistance Program’ in Michigan).

The data released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) shows that seven out of  10 voters say that cutting food stamp funding is the wrong way to reduce government spending.   Voters reject the idea of cutting spending on hunger. Only 23 percent say the federal government should be spending less money to address hunger, while 77 percent say the government should spend more or at least the same amount.  Nearly three in four (73%) voters believe the food stamp program is very or fairly important for the country, including 41 percent who say it is very important. This sentiment is widely held across demographic groups and the political spectrum.

“Any cut to SNAP means less food in the refrigerator for struggling seniors, families with children, veterans, people with disabilities, and unemployed people in Michigan,” said Terri Stangl, Executive Director of the Center for Civil Justice, a nationally-recognized leader in anti-hunger advocacy.  “Nearly one in five people in Michigan now needing help and voters recognize the harsh impact of such cuts on those they know – their parents and children and neighbors.  It’s time for Congress to come to the same conclusion.” CCJ works to expand awareness of and participation in federal programs, such as SNAP.

Other findings from the poll include:

  • Voters in rural communities and small towns reject cuts decisively, by 68 percent to 32 percent.  Support for food stamps also crosses generational lines—67 percent of both young voters (under age 35) and seniors reject food stamp cuts.
  • Rural and small town voters also are more likely to favor greater government spending to address hunger (39 percent) than less (31 percent), as are voters with children under 18 (48 percent to 23 percent).
  • Republican voters also support the program:  63 percent of Republicans want to see current spending levels continue (34 percent) or increase (29 percent).  Only  37 percent of Republican voters  say that the federal government should spend less.

The national  poll of 850 registered voters was conducted online from April 29 to May 1, 2013, by Hart Research Associates on behalf of the Food Research and Action Center.

The full findings from the poll are available on FRAC’s website (www.frac.org).

RESOURCES FOR THE PUBLIC

CCJ offers a toll-free statewide  helpline to help people find out what programs they can qualify for to help with questions and barriers.   That helpline is (800) 481-4989.   CCJ also offers an on-line calculator where households can get estimates of the monthly food assistance (Bridge Card) benefits for which  may be eligible.  See www.foodstamphelp.org.

 

Source:  Press Release – Center for Civil Justice


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