The Congressional battle over the Farm Bill puts nutrition programs on the chopping block. The Senate proposes $4 billion in cuts to Food Stamps over the next decade, but the House wants $40 billion sliced over the same time.
Robert Robbins is one of more than 47 million Americans who uses food stamps.
“Food stamps kept us fed when I was a kid,” he recalled.
But as the Davenport man, 22, moves through the lunch line at King’s Harvest, he’s bracing for major changes. That’s as Congress considers drastic cuts to the program.
“People like me are going to be the first people to get cut,” he said.
About one in seven Americans like Robbins use the Snap program to make ends meet. By the second half of each month, it strains feeding programs like King’s Harvest that reach out to the needy.
President Obama is already threatening to veto the most drastic proposals.
“What kind of a country is America if we can’t make certain that the children in this country have something basic to eat every single day,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, (D) Illinois.
Numbers are reaching record proportions for the food pantry at Christ United Methodist Church in East Moline.
“There’s a big need,” said Sue Swartz, who supervises a crew of volunteers at the pantry.
The food pantry just finished its busiest month ever. It served nearly 1,200 people in August. Many of those clients also get food stamps.
“They’re running out of money,” she said. “Whatever little bit of money they had, it’s gone.”
And it could get worse. For food stamp recipients like Robert Robbins, the proposed cuts will hurt those who need help.
It’s something he thinks about in the lunch line at King’s Harvest.
“It’s hurting those who need it most. They’re not taking from the rich. They’re taking from the poor.”
For Robbins, it’s really food for thought. To donate to King’s Harvest Ministries, click here.
Related: House votes to cut food stamps