Do you see Jesus in the face of the poor?
The U.S. House voted last week to eliminate as much as $40 billion dollars of food aid to poor families and their children in the United States. I contacted my U.S. representative and told him to vote against cutting SNAP and asked him to work for our country’s welfare. I do this because I really want Jesus to recognize me on that day. Do you? (See how your representative voted.)
Do not trouble me with urban myths of how food stamps are used to buy prime cuts of beef. The majority of families on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) are down on their luck and need this assistance for less than two years. These new cuts will hurt children and pregnant women.
Do you think churches and charities can pick up the slack if the Senate were to pass this cut too? In 2011, private churches and charities provided approximately $4 billion in food assistance, compared to $98 billion provided by federal nutrition programs. Could churches and charities fill in the gap if SNAP dollars are cut? Bread for the World estimates that almost 4 million people would be taken off SNAP through the proposed changes. Can churches and charities feed four million more?
Read the words of the prophet Amos: “Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land.” (Amos 8:4) And the witness of Micah: “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
All I am saying is that if you say you are a Christian, you need be about the business of not judging but of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick and helping your neighbors. Otherwise, consider Matthew 7:21-23!
Inez Torres Davis is director for justice.
Photo by George Alexander. Used with permission.