North Dakota Farmers Take a Stand Against Cuts for Food Stamps

Under the current proposed budget, federal SNAP funding would be cut by $193 billion over ten years

AMENIA, ND. — Congress is considering a White House budget proposal that includes nearly $200 billion in cuts to the national SNAP program, formerly known as food stamps.

North Dakota farmers and agriculture leaders gathered in Amenia.

They came together to speak out against the White House proposed budget that would cut hundreds of billions of dollars in federal aid that would help fight hunger.

“The White House budget proposed to cut $193 billion out of SNAP over the next 10 years, which would be just a crippling cut,” said Ryan Taylor, a rancher from Towner County.

The proposed cuts to the national SNAP program were made in hopes that the states would be able to make up the difference; however, North Dakota’s budget woes may leave some of the state’s families hungry.

“There is simply no other resources that would fill in a gap like that and the bottom line is, it would mean tens of thousands of families having less to eat and struggling with hunger,” said Steve Sellent, CEO of Great Plains Food Bank.

Farmers are united in this cause because they believe that their job is more than just growing food.

“We produce food. It is a kind of a moral calling,” said Taylor. “In many cases, we produce things that people need.”

Farmers also believe that if the proposed cuts are passed, it would backfire on politicians who supported the budget.

“The last farm bill was almost derailed when the House wanted to cut $20 billion out of SNAP and the Senate wanted to cut $3 billion out of SNAP,” said Taylor.  “Imagine what a $193 billion cut to the foundation of that alliance.”

According to the farmers, if passed, the cuts to SNAP would eliminate 10 million meals per year.

The average benefit from SNAP per meal is $1.79.

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