A vote by the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday that would drastically cut the federal food stamp program is upsetting the stomachs of those who work to keep hunger at bay in the city.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, had an estimated $31 million impact in March on Bexar County’s economy, with recipients receiving on average $285 per month.
If the U.S. House vote is carried through to the Senate, the average recipient would lose about $31 dollars. But for another five to 10 percent of local SNAP clients, their entire benefit would be eliminated.
Michael Guerra, the chief development officer for the San Antonio Food Bank, said, “That’s just going to put more pressure on the emergency pantries who get the food out of this warehouse. It’s going to put more pressure on us to feed more people, and to raise more money.”
The Food Bank says the move is being questioned as a positioning act in the effort for a balanced federal budget, but maintains that it still is a devastating threat to anti-hunger programs.
Guerra said, “I think that’s the outrageous part. That they picked one particular program and said, ‘We’re going to cut that program … that’s what we recommend … too bad for those folks,' while knowing it would be dead on arrival at the Senate.”
The San Antonio Food Bank has 525 partner agencies that have joined as one voice asking the House vote be reversed.