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Letters

Another Trump first: He’s the pro-hunger president

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.(JACQUELYN MARTIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Trump proposal would take food off tables of the needy

Reading “USDA pitches new rules for food stamps” (Page A2, July 24) shocks the conscience. To us, the 3 million Americans who could lose benefits aren’t just numbers; they represent our neighbors.

The Trump administration’s proposal would take food off the tables of working families with young children, seniors with modest savings accounts, and people living with disabilities.

These changes are harmful nationwide; in Massachusetts, they’re particularly egregious.

Thousands of low-income families struggle to balance the costs of housing, child care services, health care, and other necessities in one of the most expensive states in the country. According to the MIT Living Wage calculator, a family of four must earn more than $79,000 just to afford their basic needs in Suffolk County.

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Current rules allow Massachusetts to adjust for these overwhelming costs, so that families can continue to receive critical food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. (The same family would have to earn less than $52,000 a year to be eligible for SNAP benefits — a meager $1.40 per person per meal.)

We should be lifting families and individuals out of poverty, not trapping them in its vicious cycle. Even with our strong federal delegation, we need every voice fighting against this rule. The deadline for submitting comments to the US Department of Agriculture is Sept. 23. Together, we can declare that no one should ever go hungry in our country.

Catherine D’Amato

President and CEO

The Greater Boston Food Bank

Boston

A good president wages war on hunger, not on the hungry

President Trump’s plan to cut food stamps for millions of Americans continues his assault on the hungry (“Trump’s callous cuts to food stamps could affect 90,000 in Mass.,” Editorial, July 26).

A good president wages a war against hunger, not a war on the hungry. Trump’s food stamp cuts also would take away school meals for thousands of children whose participation is linked to their families’ SNAP benefits.

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Since he took office, Trump has also called for reducing US food aid overseas in his budgets. He has tried repeatedly to eliminate the McGovern-Dole school lunch program that feeds children in poor countries.

Meals at school give children nutrition and the strength to get an education. They helped bring stability and peace in Germany and Japan after World War II. We should expand school meals across the globe.

America’s quest is to eliminate hunger at home and abroad. We should expect the president to carry those aspirations forward, as part of our great tradition of humanitarianism.

William Lambers

Cincinnati

The writer is an author who blogs on world hunger and other issues.