Jennifer Tracy, San Diego Hunger Coalition


Uploaded by KPBSSanDiego on 21.06.2012

Transcript:
>> >>JOANNE: AS WE TOLD YOU EARLIER THIS WEEK MORE MILITARY FAMILIES ARE USING FOOD STAMPS
TO BUY GROCERIES ON BASE, THAN IN THE PAST. IRONICALLY, REPUBLICAN, AND DEMOCRATIC LAW
MAKERS ARE TRYING TO CUT LAW STAMPS TO REDUCE CUTS FOR MILITARY SPENDING.
JENNIFER TRACEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTER OF THE SAN DIEGO COALITION FOR HUNGER.
LET'S TALK ABOUT FOOD STAMPS RIGHT NOW. WE KNOW THE NUMBERS ARE UP, ON MILITARY BASES,
AND OFF MILITARY BASES. WE'RE GOING TO SHOW THE NUMBERS FOR THE PEOPLE
AT HOME RIGHT NOW IN TERMS OF FOOD STAMP USE. IS THIS FOR OBVIOUS REASONS, PEOPLE LOSING
JOBS? >> >>JENNIFER TRACY: THIS PROGRAM IS DOING
EXACTLY WHAT IT WAS MEANT TO DO. AS THE ECONOMY GOES DOWN, THE PROGRAM EXPANDS
TO MEET THE NEEDS, CHILDREN DON'T GO HUNGRY, WORKING PEOPLE HAVE FOOD TO EAT UNTIL THEY
ARE EMPLOYED AGAIN. THIS PROGRAM EXPANDS FOR NOW, BUT WHAT THE
PROJECTIONS SHOW OVER THE NEXT 10 YEARS THIS PROGRAM IS GOING TO CONTRACT AGAIN.
WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE INFLATION ADJUSTED NUMBERS, THERE'S A STEEP DECLINE IN PARTICIPATION OVER
THE NEXT 10 YEARS ALL THE WAY DOWN TO NUMBERS BEFORE THE RECESSION.
>> >>JOANNE: OF COURSE THE CRITICISM POLITICALLY HAS BEEN WE HAVE A FOOD STAMP PRESIDENT, THE
NUMBERS ARE UP WHILE HE'S PRESIDENT. IN TERMS OF MILITARY USE, IS THIS REAL A REFLECTION
OF HOW LITTLE PEOPLE IN THE MILITARY ARE PAID, THAT THEY NEED TO GET FOOD STAMPS?
>> >>JENNIFER TRACY: PEOPLE WHO QUALIFY FOR THE PROGRAM EARN LESS THAN A HUNDRED AND 30ĘPERCENT
OF THE POVERTY LINE. THAT'S A VERY LOW NUMBER.
THERE'S A LESS THAN TWO PERCENT RATE OF FRAUD IN THIS PROGRAM, AND THAT INCLUDES WORK ERROR.
SO THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WHO GET THESE BENEFITS ARE ELIGIBLE.
>> >>JOANNE: SO WHO WANTS TO CUT THIS PROGRAM? >> >>JENNIFER TRACY: YOU KNOW, UNFORTUNATELY,
THIS VOTE THIS YEAR WAS VOTED ON BY BOTH DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS TO ELIMINATE A $4.5ĘBILLION
FROM THE SNAP PROGRAM, FEDERALLY, IT'S CAL FRESH IN CALIFORNIA.
SO WHAT WE'D REALLY LIKE TO SEE IS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS REFLECT WHAT THE GALLOP POLLS
SHOW AND WHAT AMERICANS CARE ABOUT, THEY DON'T WANT TO SEE KIDS, FAMILIES OR SENIORS GOING
HUNGRY. WE'D LIKE TO SEE OUR LEGISLATURE STAND UP
FOR THE AMERICANS SO THE BUDGET REFLECTS THE NEEDS FOR OUR COMMUNITY.
>> >>JOANNE: IN TERMS OF CUTS, DOES IT MEAN FEWER PEOPLE ARE ELIGIBLE, OR THE PEOPLE ELIGIBLE
WILL GET LESS MONEY? >> >>JENNIFER TRACY: THEY'LL GET LESS MONEY.
IN CALIFORNIA THIS WILL AFFECT OVER A HUNDRED THOUSAND FAMILIES AND THEY'LL GET ANYWHERE
FROM 42 TO 90,000 DOLLARS TAKEN FROM THEIR EXISTING BENEFITS.
WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE SITUATION PEOPLE ARE IN NOW, THE BENEFITS USUALLY LAST ABOUT THREE
WEEKS, AND SO THAT MEANS THAT FOR THE FIRST THREE WEEKS THEY HAVE ACCESS TO FOOD, MORE
LIKELY TO PURCHASE HEALTHY FOOD. WHAT THE RESEARCH HAS SHOWN IS THAT FOR EVERY
DOLLAR ADDITIONAL THEY GET IN BENEFITS THEY'RE MORE LIKELY TO PURCHASE HEALTHY FOOD.
WE'RE GOING TO HAVE AN EXACERBATION OF OTHER PROBLEMS RELATED TO OBESITY AND DIABETES.
>> >>JOANNE: CAN YOU GIVE US AN EXAMPLE OF A A FAMILY FOUR OF WHAT BENEFITS ARE PER MONTH?
>> >>JENNIFER TRACY: IN CALIFORNIA THE AVERAGE BENEFIT PER PERSON IS ABOUT $160 PER MONTH,
PER FAMILY IT'S 250 A MONTH. >> >>JOANNE: WHICH COULD GO DOWN.
>> >>JENNIFER TRACY: WHICH WOULD GO DOWN. YOU CAN IMAGINE FOR THE AVERAGE HOUSE HOLD
SIZE, ABOUT TWO TO THREE PEOPLE TO BE DOWN TO LESS THAN 200 DOLLARS A MONTH FOR FOOD
GOING TO PUT A SERIOUS BURDEN ON THEM, AND YOU'RE GOING TO SEE THINGS LIKE PARENTS WHO
HAVE TO SKIP MEALS SO KIDS CAN EAT, KIDS WHO DON'T EAT OVER THE WEEKEND, SENIORS WHO HAVE
MORE HEALTH RELATED PROBLEMS. >> >>JOANNE: THIS PROPOSED CUT IS GOING THROUGH
THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS. DO WE KNOW HERE IN CALIFORNIA HOW OUR LEGISLATURES
HAVE VOTED SO FAR? >> >>JENNIFER TRACY: BOTH FEINSTEIN AND BOXER
VOTED AGAINST THE CUT, AND 29 LEADERS FROM THE CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION SENT A LETTER
IN SUPPORT THE SNAP PROGRAM. THEY KNOW THIS PROGRAM IS REALLY IMPORTANT
FOR FAMILIES AND LOCAL ECONOMY. THE MONEY THAT COMES IN, THE LOW INCOME, AND
HARD WORK FAMILIES HELP OUR LOCAL BUSINESSES, MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THEM, AND HELPS ALL
OF US, BECAUSE IT MAKES SURE OUR ECONOMY IS STABLE.
>> >>JOANNE: THERE IS THE MULTIPLIER FACT, RIGHT? FOR EVERY DOLLAR SPENT SEVERAL TIMES
MORE IN TERMS OF BENEFITS. >> >>JENNIFER TRACY: ABOUT A DOLLAR 73.
THEY HAVE TO BUY FOOD, SO NIEPT% OF BENEFITS ARE SPENT WITHIN 30 DAYS.
>> >>JOANNE: JENNIFER TRACEY, THANK YOU. I WANT TO SEND PEOPLE TO KPBS.ORG, WE HAVE
A LOT MORE LINKS AND INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ISSUE.