By Congressman Pete Gallego —
America is too great a country to allow children to go hungry.
Last week, I spoke with a working mother of three. Dellany works full
time at doctor's office â€“ that's 40 hours a week. She raises three boys
ages 8, 9, and seventeen. For her boys, the Supplemental Nutritional
Assistance Program (SNAP) is not a luxury by any means â€” it's a
necessity. The family turns to SNAP usually at the end of the month when
their budget is tighter to help put food on their table.
Dellany said to our office, “I'm trying my best. I'm working hard.”
She'd like to get a second job, but there would be no one to watch her
kids while she works at night.
Contrary to what many people thing, the average person relying on
SNAP receives just $3.36 per day on food. Most individuals receive this
assistance for two weeks, while they're battling a difficult time. A
large majority are from working families.
Let's think of the effects of our actions on everyday families. Let's think of their faces.
Extremists in the U.S. House last week shamefully voted to cut $40
billion in food assistance for vulnerable populations- including our
kids, pregnant women, seniors, people with disabilities, and our
Veterans. Under the proposal approved, 210,000 kids could lose their
Taking food from our kids and our seniors is cruel. The only thing
such severe cuts accomplish is to deprive the neediest Americans food.
SNAP is a vital tool to combat hunger and help Americans put food on the
table as they seek new employment, send their kids to school, and get
themselves back on their feet.
Before the House vote, I offered a last chance amendment to try to
save SNAP. My amendment would protect Veterans, seniors, pregnant women,
and children from hunger by preventing any delay in payments to these
populations in case of a government shutdown. Unfortunately, my
amendment was defeated.
I'll continue to work with my colleagues in the House and the Senate to come with a solution for our state and our families.
Here in Pecos County, nearly 2,000 people â€“ mostly kids and seniors â€“
receive nutritional assistance through SNAP. These are folks who are
our neighbors, who go to school with our kids, and who we see at church.
We should have compassion, and do what is right for our country. We can come together to end hunger in our country.
I support a balanced budget amendment, and believe we can and must do
more to get our nation's fiscal house in order. But we should not do so
on the backs of hungry children. That's not the Texas way.