Professor Pens Editorial on Food Insecurity, SNAP Cuts

October 1, 2013

Professor Kristin Butcher and Colleagues Write “Don’t Call Retreat in the War on Hunger”

10-year old kid alone on a city stoop, head in hands

In September 2013, the House voted to cut $39 billion over 10 years on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and Food Stamps. With some legislators calling for major changes to the program in the name of curbing government spending, the bill includes changes ranging from nearly $4 billion per year in cuts to the program, increased work requirements, and massive restrictions in the goods that can be purchased. The bill has moved to the Senate for consideration and has become a controversial funding issue.

“The real crisis is hunger, not government spending,” wrote Kristin Butcher, Marshall I. Goldman Professor of Economics, and colleagues from Dartmouth, U.C. Berkeley and Northwestern, in an opinion piece for U.S. News & World Report. The piece called for everyone to “take a step back and remember what the food stamp program helps address.”

On the issue of food insecurity, Butcher and her colleagues wrote, “[It is important] to keep in mind what food insecurity means to the family that encounters it. It means children will miss meals, perhaps several in a row. It means parents will not eat in order to feed their children. It means there are Americans going hungry.”

Butcher researches labor and health economics. Her work focuses on immigration issues and issues surrounding childhood obesity. Her co-authors on the article are: Patricia Anderson, professor of economics at Dartmouth College; Hilary Hoynes, professor of public policy and economics at University of California Berkeley and editor of the American Economic Review; and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, associate professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern University. All four are research associates of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Read Don’t Call Retreat in the War on Hunger on U.S. News & World Report.


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