As a pediatrician I feel compelled to speak out against the proposed cuts to SNAP in the Farm Bill, H.R.2, which is currently up for a vote in the House of Representatives.
SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It is the most effective domestic U.S. hunger safety net program and nearly half of its recipients are children. More than one million children in New York State receive benefits from SNAP. Cuts to SNAP will adversely affect children in the nearly 22,000 households with children that participate in SNAP right here on Long Island.
SNAP delivers critical support to vulnerable families to ensure that they can put food on the table. Children who live in households that are food insecure are likely to be sick more often, recover from illness more slowly and be hospitalized more frequently. Lack of adequate healthy food can impair a child’s ability to perform well in school and can lead to higher levels of behavioral and emotional problems from preschool to adolescence.
SNAP is reauthorized under the Farm Bill, legislation that renews federal agriculture, trade and nutrition programs. At present, SNAP benefits are not enough to provide funding with the resources to obtain an adequate healthy diet, and they should not be cut further.
No child should have to struggle with hunger and food insecurity in our country. SNAP serves as a critical support for the health and well being of children and its funding should not be cut in the Farm Bill.
—Dr. Eve Meltzer Krief MD
Eve Meltzer Krief is a pediatrician in Huntington