HARRISBURG, Pa. - One Pennsylvanian in eight has a hard time putting food on the table, a proportion that's been getting worse in the state since 2006. Now, a new survey from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) shows three out of four respondents oppose cutting food stamps as a way to reduce federal spending. Nearly eight out of ten support spending the same or more on food stamps, which are now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.Carey Morgan, the executive director for the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, says the program proves its worth in homes around the state each and every day.
"Food is not an option: people have to eat, and these benefits should never be threatened when they are supporting the health and welfare of our most vulnerable citizens, both children and seniors."
Jim Weill is president of the Food Research and Action Center, which released the survey.
"American families know what the food stamp program is and what it does, and sometimes the people who are attacking it, using false images of it, don't realize how many of their constituents are on the program."
Weill says half of all American children at some time in their lives are food stamp recipients.
The FRAC numbers come on the heels of new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data showing more than 50 million Americans lived in households struggling against hunger in 2011.
The USDA report says food insecurity rates were substantially higher than the national average for households at or below the federal poverty level, as well as households headed by a single man or woman, and for blacks and Hispanics.
The full USDA report is at 1.usa.gov/Q7Zxna.