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Let’s starve the kids

The Republican administration wants to trim 700,000 people from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps.

Ninety-seven percent of the SNAP participants who would be affected by this change live in poverty, and 88 percent have household incomes at or below 50 percent of the poverty level or less than $600 a month.

There are also the 1 million kids who could lose free or reduced school meals, as proposed by the Trump administration in October.

Children whose families qualify for food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, can automatically get free breakfasts and lunches at school, but the Trump administration’s proposal would tighten eligibility for SNAP.

According to the Montana Food Bank Network, an estimated 42% of Montana SNAP households would face a cut to their monthly SNAP benefits. (Current SNAP benefits average about $1.40 a meal per recipient.)

This is not breaking news. Sonny Perdue, at Trump’s insistence, has been trying cut food stamp recipients since he was sworn in as agriculture secretary in April, 2017. He has also attacked the nutritional requirements for school meals, advancing obesity:

In May 2017, Perdue announced that his department would loosen key standards under the (Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act) established by the preceding administration, and the USDA formally issued a proposed new rule in November. The proposed rule, if implemented, would extend the use of waivers exempting certain processed food products from meeting the law’s whole grain standards; delay the implementation of new low-sodium limits until after 2020; and allow schools to serve low-fat flavored (i.e., sugar-sweetened) milk, which is currently disallowed. Secretary Perdue’s defense of the move was nonsensical: “This is not reducing the nutritional standards whatsoever,” he told reporters, adding “I wouldn’t be as big as I am today without flavored milk.”

It’s difficult to fathom more cruel administrative directives than shorting school children’s nutritional standards, cutting SNAP recipients and barring kids from free or reduced-price meals. Happy Holidays from the Republican Party!

I’m waiting for our Montana delegation in Congress to show the appropriate outrage, particularly the two who profess furthering “Christian Values.” Waiting. Waiting. Still waiting.



If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

About the author

Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.


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  • These two are about as far from living their “Christian Values” as you can get. Actions speak louder than words, and these guys have downright shameful records when it comes to helping those who are less fortunate -which is a prime directive of real Christianity.
    As I have said many times before – Democrats care about people and want to help them live better lives; Republicans care about themselves and their bank accounts ( I got mine – don’t care about YOU!)

    Vote accordingly.

  • “The Gospel takes away our right forever, to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor.” ? Dorothy Day

    In their actions and lives Gianforte and Daines are both anti-Christs.
    Gianforte and Daines use the language of faith to fool the voters and manipulate their base while they actually work against everything Jesus Christ taught. It’s truly a shame.

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