Public Policy Should Eliminate Hunger, Not Increase It

June 19, 2013

Dear Congressperson Sarbanes:

Members of the Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore and our allies are voters, and we are writing to urge you to oppose cuts to Food Stamps—also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP). The House Farm Bill would cut $20.5 billion from SNAP, and any cuts to would increase hunger for millions of vulnerable Americans. We strongly urge you to Oppose any Farm Bill that contains cuts to Food Stamps / SNAP.

Average benefits provided under SNAP are only $133.41 per person per month. Not even $1.50 per meal. After the amendment Rep. Jim McGovern (MA) offered to prevent the cuts failed on a party-line vote, the House Agriculture Committee passed the Farm Bill. We strongly oppose the $20.5 billion cuts that would devastate millions of Americans and inflict costs upon taxpayers far in excess of any supposed “savings.”

Spending for nutrition delivers a huge return on investment. SNAP spending is among the most powerful economic stimuli, with benefits that flow directly and immediately into the economy, enriching domestic farmers and retailers, and creating jobs. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack confirmed, “Every dollar of SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in the economy.” Conversely, decreasing SNAP would cause increased health care costs and incite crime, diminish productivity, stunt childhood development, and impose other collateral damage on innocent American families.

Please oppose any Farm Bill that contains cuts to Food Stamps / SNAP. Cuts instead should be to the military budget. We cannot, as a society, continue to fund such a ridiculous military budget, which is taking away tax dollars from much-needed infrastructure and other needs.

Finally, we are seeking an end to the use of killer drone strikes, which we believe to be illegal and unconstitutional. As you know, the Brennan hearing was put on hold because citizens are demanding answers about drone strikes. For example, why did the Obama administration use killer drones to assassinate three U.S. citizens. Would you be willing to speak out in Congress against the use of drones which are killing civilians in at least five countries—Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen? You may know that on Inauguration Day, four Yemenis were killed in a U.S. drone strike.

We look forward to your response. And when you are ready, we would like to meet with you, preferably in Baltimore. But if necessary, we will travel to your D.C. office. Thank you for your time and attention.

Peace,

Max Obuszewski, on behalf of Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore/Fund Our Communities