By Zach Kershaw
Food has long been one of the most effective ways of connecting people. In many ways, food can open doors to learning a great deal about what people like or dislike and who they are.
According to Web Economic Forum, “Food can tell us a lot about a society in the past and present.” At the same time, food can be one of the greatest causes of division. Food is a requirement to survive, without it, a human being would starve to death.
In the United States, The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) exists to provide food and nutrition to families with designated low-income.
Soon, 32 states across the country are slated to decrease the potential benefits from The SNAP program. During the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency funding was distributed to support those in need during particularly difficult times.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “The temporary boost to SNAP benefits ended nationwide after February 2023.”
The boost was enacted to assist U.S. citizens during the pandemic via emergency allocation.
According to the National Center for Homelessness Education, “SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net”
Millions of American citizens are registered under the SNAP program as many depend on the program for basic food necessities.
Cutbacks are going to begin after February, leaving three months for citizens to strategize and decide what to do. SNAP’s main demographic is low-income citizens, this decision has major long-term implications.
The Tampa Bay area will feel the effects of SNAP cutting benefits. Feeding Tampa Bay, an organization that provides food to those in need, has been working in this region for years to assist the community.
Over 92 million meals were served last year, according to Feeding Tampa Bay.
The Tampa Bay area appears to still require all the assistance it can receive, and impending cuts threaten to decrease the average amount of monthly stipend Americans receive each month. For Tampa, a city with high homelessness rates, the effects will not be difficult to spot.
Cities across the country will face similar issues like food banks overloading and food shortages. There are only so many places for people to turn to and many mouths to feed.
Hunger is an issue the country is quietly dealing with right now.
According to FeedingAmerica.org, “In 2021, 53 million people registered themselves for food programs.”
Now, in 2023, families and citizens in the U.S. enrolled in the SNAP program will be forced to make do with the adjusted amount that the program provides.
Effects of the upcoming changes will sway the U.S. and could receive extremely heavy backlash from the people who depend on SNAP.
SNAP affects millions of people and the implications it has are extremely substantial. Putting food into the bellies of Americans who need it most is the very basis of what SNAP is.
Decreasing SNAP benefits places many Americans in a situation where it is food on the table or roof over head.
The coming months will be very telling about the economic state of the U.S. as well as dealing with the issue of hunger in our homes.