Skip to content Accessibility Mode

This Thanksgiving, remember the millions of Americans who struggle with hunger

When someone says "Thanksgiving," many of us think of stuffing our faces with turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce as we sit around the table with our loved ones. But for the 49 million Americans who struggle with hunger, the holiday season only accentuates the reality of their situation.

Millions of Americans stay on their feet thanks to help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Of those who receive nutrition assistance, the vast majority are children (who alone make up about half of SNAP beneficiaries), veterans, the elderly and the working poor. SNAP beneficiaries receive just $1.40 per meal, but even that amount is vitally important for many of them. A Massachusetts news anchor recently tried to buy Thanksgiving dinner on a SNAP budget, allotting $5.60 to feed a family of four. The cheapest turkey she could find was nearly twice the budget, and that's before adding the rest of the Turkey Day fixings.

With these families already facing hardship, it would be almost unimaginable for members of Congress to try to cut what nutrition assistance they do have access to. But that's exactly what a group of 217 House Republicans did in September when they voted to slash SNAP funding by $40 billion over the next 10 years. That would boot 3.8 million Americans from nutrition assistance, drop 210,000 kids from free school meals, hurt 170,000 veterans and cause 55,000 job cuts in the first year alone.

It is a callous gesture, and it's bad for our economy. A 2010 study by Moody's Analytics found that nutrition assistance is the most powerful economic stimulus, because the money is spent immediately at local grocery stores and small businesses.

This Thanksgiving, remember those who are less fortunate by taking action. Tell Congress to restore funding for food stamps, and consider donating to a local food bank to help fight hunger.

Show Comments Hide Comments