Youth Speak Out on Food Stamps Cuts

Nov. 13, 2013 / By



New America Media, First Person, We’Ced staff

Editor’s Note: In 2009, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits – commonly known as food stamps — by 13.6 percent, as a way to bring relief to struggling Americans during the economic recession. But on November 1 of this year the increase expired, returning SNAP benefits to pre-recession levels. The program cut will affect roughly 4 million Californians, many of them children. Young people with the youth Merced, Calif.-based reporting project We’Ced discussed the importance of food assistance programs in their own lives, and how they foresee the change affecting their families. 

Natalie Salas:
My mother is a single parent looking for work and has little to no family. Without SNAP or EBT we would struggle more than we already do. I would probably start trying to find other ways to help support my family, other than working the little odd jobs I do now.

I see people around me who have jobs but still don’t make enough to survive. We read an NPR report that says 3.8 million people will be left without food assistance when the SNAP cuts go through. Just think of all those people that may have to resort to drastic measures to support their families.

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WeCed Youth Media

Merced and its surrounding areas have always had a vibrant population of young people. Unfortunately, too often there is a disconnect between generations that can lead to misunderstandings and a lack of communication. WeCed's aim through its program and publication is to highlight and empower youth to tell their stories and that of their communities, while providing them with the guidance and skill-building necessary to foster the development of their strongest possible voice.