American Academy of Pediatrics Statement Opposing the Farm Bill’s Cuts to SNAP

Elk Grove Village, IL—(ENEWSPF)—January 30, 2014. By: James M. Perrin, MD, FAAP, president, American Academy of Pediatrics:

“The $8.6 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) included in the compromise Farm Bill that recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is expected to pass the U.S. Senate fall painfully short of meeting the needs of America’s children and families.

“Pediatricians witness the effects of childhood hunger firsthand: hungry children are less likely to be healthy and are more likely to suffer developmental delays, have behavioral problems and have difficulties focusing in school. At a time when more than one in five U.S. children lives in poverty, the Farm Bill’s cuts to this program exacerbate the effects of child hunger and disproportionately hurt children. In fact, 850,000 households across the country will now receive $90 less of SNAP benefits each month. To a family already living in poverty, these cuts will mean fewer meals and contribute to more anxiety about where the next meal will come from. No child should be hungry in this country. Parents should not be left wondering how to feed their families at the end of each month. 

“The American Academy of Pediatrics understands that investing in programs like SNAP helps lift families out of poverty, protects against the harmful effects of chronic hunger, improves opportunities for young children and ameliorates family stress. We are profoundly disappointed in the Farm Bill’s cuts to SNAP and renew our commitment to work with Congress and the White House to enact federal policies that invest in children and protect their health.” 

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.