(TRENTON) – Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Union) on Thursday issued the following statement regarding the House vote on a bill that would reduce the nation’s food stamp program by $40 billion over the next ten years, which would force 14 million people from the program by 2023:
“The country is currently in the middle of the worst economic slump it has experienced since the Great Depression. Now is not the time to escalate the struggle cash-strapped families and seniors are experiencing by adding more restrictions and requirements to access critical programs, such as Food Stamps and SNAP.
“Since the beginning of the economic decline in 2008, applications for the Food Stamp program and the SNAP program nearly doubled in five years. Significantly cutting back program aid that allows roughly a quarter of the families in the country to put food on the table is unrealistic in an economy with steady unemployment percentages and slow-moving job creation.
“Unless they are using a crystal ball to see the future, how do we know that the economy will improve enough to support the families who would be pushed off each year as a result of this bill?
“We do not. In a time where the nation is merely on the cusp of recovery, this is not the time to jeopardize a program which makes a great difference in the fight against hunger in our nation.
“The need is still great. I implore our congressional body to truly consider the numbers as faces of children, mothers, fathers, seniors who, in some cases would not have a meal to eat if it wasn’t for these crucial programs.
“Find another way to balance the budget.”