Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Passage of House “Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act”
LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on the House of Representatives’ “Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act,” (H.R. 3102) passed by the House on Thursday.
“SNAP helps Nebraskans feed their families when they face hard times. The bill approved in the House today jeopardizes these families and our communities by making drastic cuts to SNAP which has been proven to fight hunger in Nebraska,” Gould said. “We thank Rep. Jeff Fortenberry for voting against this harmful measure, however we are very disappointed Nebraska’s other two congressmen voted to remove critical food assistance to so many families that are struggling to put food on the table.”
H.R. 3102 passed 217-210. See the vote count.
The House of Representatives’ Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act is an alarming bill which proposes a staggering cut of $40 billion in food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which will have large, harmful effects to families in Nebraska. Data released this week in a report from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) shows 20.3 percent of Nebraska households with children (about 1 in 5) and 12.3 percent of households without children (about 1 in 8) can be classified as facing food hardship.
The report, Food Hardship 2008-2012: Geography and Household Structure, also found the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is among the top 80 MSA’s nationwide in highest percentage of households, both with and without children, facing food hardship.
This report is consistent with data released by the federal government this month which shows how many Americans continue to struggle to get enough to eat. Specifically, Food insecurity data, released by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), shows that 13.4 percent of people in Nebraska struggled with hunger during the 2010 to 2012 period.
“This report underscores the importance of SNAP for the approximately 176,000 Nebraskans, many of whom are children, who utilize SNAP to put food on the table,” Gould said. “We hope as Congress moves forward on a comprehensive Farm Bill, they reconsider this damaging policy that will be detrimental to so many Nebraska families and communities.”