Food safety net

I read two stories recently that offer different responses to the food assistance safety net in our country. The first was a local report from the Father Fred Foundation. In 2019 this organization responded to more than 10,000 requests for food assistance from residents in the Grand Traverse region. While somewhat alarming as to the significant demand, this is indeed a heart-warming story. By the way, if you are looking for a local cause to support with a year-end contribution, the Father Fred Foundation would be an excellent choice.

The second story was not so heartwarming. The Trump administration announced that it will be reducing food stamp assistance for 668,000 of our fellow U.S. citizens. This reduction will save approximately $1 billion annually for the federal budget. Total federal spending in 2018 was $4.1 trillion. This means that savings from the food stamp reduction is .025 percent of federal spending. Looked at from another perspective, the reduction in food stamp coverage will save $250 for every $1 million in federal spending.

I do not believe savings this minor justify negatively impacting the safety net for almost 700,000 of our fellow Americans.

Edward Carlson

Traverse City

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