The Delta Grassroots Caucus (DGC) is a broad coalition of grassroots leaders in the eight-state Delta region. DGC is also a founding partner of the Economic Equality Caucus,
which advocates for economic equality across the USA.

Delta Caucus Opposes Cuts to SNAP (food stamps) as Part of Budget Deal

Posted on April 26, 2023 at 12:13 PM

The Delta Caucus advocates for a resolution to the budget crisis that does NOT make sharp cuts in funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), which is a vital life-line for millions of low-income Americans across the country and is supported by many Republicans and conservative as well as centrist organizations.

The SNAP program is essential across the country, but especially so in the Mississippi Delta region, where we unfortunately have the worst food insecurity levels in the USA. The program prevents millions of low-income people from being hungry.

Six of the 10 states with the worst food insecurity rankings are in the Greater Delta/Alabama Black Belt region: Mississippi and Louisiana are second and third worst, Alabama and Kentucky fifth and sixth, Arkansas and Tennessee are ninth and 10th worst, respectively. (See figures below in this message.)

In addition to its vital role as a hunger and nutrition safety net, SNAP also has a multiplier impact on economic development: every SNAP dollar that is spent generates $1.67 in economic activity, according to nonpartisan economists at Moody’s Analytics.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s efforts to make sharp cuts in SNAP, the major anti-hunger life-line, contradicts the traditional bipartisan support for this program.

Throughout American history until recently, Republicans such as Sen. Bob Dole and many others supported SNAP on the grounds that one principle we can all support is that no one should go hungry in America. The stark departure from this nonpartisan consensus would be tremendously damaging if enacted.

SNAP has a low level of waste, fraud and abuse: There can always be improvements in such a massive program involving millions of people. But SNAP has a rate of waste and abuse of less than 3%–based on statistics from USDA as well as independent private sector organizations, and that is a solid record for any federal agency, and especially one with such a massive scope.

Any waste and abuse is bad and we should work to reduce it even further. But claims that this program is “riddled with fraud, waste and abuse” are just factually erroneous.

Today, even many Republicans disagree with McCarthy’s effort to cut SNAP as part of a budget deal.

For example, Congressman Marc Malinaro (R-NY) says his family relied on food stamps during his childhood While he has indicated support for improving the program and removing some inefficiencies in it. But he has thus far declined to support proposals to expand work requirements that his colleagues have been pushing for months.

Molinaro sounded a note of support for SNAP but indicated only the most needy should get aid — an argument Republicans have used in their campaign to reduce the size of the program. (Fact check: the program is already based on making only very low-income people eligible for food aid.)

“Yes, those that struggle the hardest need to know that they have the support, not only of SNAP, but of other wrap-around services,” Rep. Molinaro said.

Similarly, Rep. Derrick Van Orden R-Wisconsin), who is a supporter of President Donald Trump on most issues, spoke of his family’s struggle with poverty and reliance on food stamps when he was a child. While he acknowledges some flaws in the current system, he said, “I’m a member of Congress because of these programs.”

“There’s a lot of people who have not gone to bed hungry at night, and I have. And there’s no place for that in America,” Van Orden said.

Even organizations regarded as basically conservative, such as some state branches of the American Farm Bureau Federation (America’s leading agricultural lobby) are supportive of SNAP.

Eric Ooms, vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation in New York, urged his colleagues not to think of SNAP as a “city thing,” emphasizing that the program is a key lifeline to low-income Americans in rural areas where food insecurity “is higher than it’s ever been.”

Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas said this proposal is unlikely to be passed into law, given widespread, traditional support for SNAP.


Food insecurity is when people lack reliable access to an affordable, nutritious food supply.

West Virginia 15.1%

Mississippi 15%

Louisiana 14.8%

Oklahoma 14.6%

Alabama 14%

Kentucky 13.8%

New Mexico 13.4%

Texas 13.3%

Arkansas 12.6%

Tennessee 12.5%

Figures from USDA Economic Research Service averaged over three years from 2019 to 2021.