Val Traore labels cuts a “bilateral disaster”
Paul Joseph Watson
As food banks across the country warn that they are unable to meet demand, the CEO of the Food Bank of South Jersey says that the $5 billion welfare cut which came into effect on November 1st is causing a “nightmare ripple effect” for both businesses and hungry citizens.
Val Traore is drawing attention to the “bilateral disaster of food stamp cuts,” noting that they are impacting not just low income residents but also local businesses that accept food stamps.
“You can’t affect the food supply of an estimated 18,000 people as well as the revenue for nearly 1,000 businesses, and not expect a nightmare ripple effect. And what affects local businesses will extend outward to the entire community,” said Traore.
Traore’s sentiments echo those of others who have cautioned that the cut in food stamp benefits is going to cause a demand that many food banks will simply be unable to meet, prompting millions of Americans to go hungry and even setting the stage for domestic unrest.
Margaret Purvis, the CEO of Food Bank for New York City, the largest food bank in America, recently told Salon.com, “If you look across the world, riots always begin typically the same way: when people cannot afford to eat food.”
From November 1st, $5 billion was wiped off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as a result of a planned stimulus withdrawal. Almost 50 million Americans who are supported by the program face an average loss of $36 dollars a month, which is a significant amount for those living near the poverty line.
The effect of the cut is really going to bite in the final week of November, which is when families dependent on food stamps usually run out of credit.
Major food banks across the country are sounding the alarm bell that they will not be able to satisfy demand. Purvis told USA Today that workers in her food bank were “panicking” over the decrease in benefits, fearing a rush of hungry Americans.
Joe Arthur of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank also told the Associated Press that food pantry organizers will be “unable to plug the hole being left by a reduction in federal funding for food stamps.”
Illustrating the soaring demand for food, before the 2007 recession, the five food banks that form the Association of Arizona Food Banks were handing out an average of 69,000 emergency food boxes per month. Last month, 108,300 boxes were handed out, an increase of around 80 per cent.