The struggles of the “heartland” have been well chronicled this election and the president-elect might do little to alleviate the situation.
According the national advocacy group Hunger Free America, newly analyzed data showed that of the 10 states with the highest percentage of people receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, eight voted for Trump in the presidential election.
Most of the states that utilize SNAP are in the South.
“Disproving the stereotype that SNAP recipients are all in ‘inner cities’ or red states, this analysis demonstrates that large numbers of Americans who rely upon federal nutrition assistance live in rural, mostly white, areas,” said Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America. “Plainly put, many SNAP recipients are President-Elect Trump’s people. With 44 million Americans—living in suburban, rural, and urban areas of every state—relying on SNAP, the ‘they’ is really ‘us.’”
The 10 states with the highest percentage of SNAP users are New Mexico, Mississippi, West Virginia, Oregon, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia and Kentucky.
“America can only be truly great if it feeds all its own residents, which is why we hope that President-Elect Trump commits to ending U.S. hunger by creating jobs, raising wages, and bolstering the federal food safety net,” continued Berg. “At a bare minimum, we hope President-Elect Trump pledges to stop Speaker Paul Ryan’s misguided plans to again slash food aid to vulnerable Americans to pay for more tax cuts for the mega-rich.”
Berg and his advocacy group joined other prominent New Yorkers to announce the release of their annual survey. The survey analyzes the demand at soup kitchens and food pantries around the five boroughs and includes new findings on food hunger and insecurity not only in New York City and the five boroughs but also in New York State overall. The report attempted to identify how many people in New York City and New York State are still living in hunger regardless of their working situation. Berg and company called on the president-elect to commit to ending hunger in the U.S. and to oppose Ryan’s desires to cut funding to federal nutrition programs along with programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.
During a recent interview on Fox News, the House Speaker laid out his plans.
“When Obamacare became Obamacare, Obamacare rewrote Medicare, rewrote Medicaid, so if you’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare, you have to address those issues as well,” Ryan said. “What people don’t realize is that Medicare is going broke, that Medicare is going to have price controls. Because of Obamacare, Medicaid is in fiscal straits. So you have to deal with those issues if you’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare. Medicare has got some serious problems because of Obamacare. Those things are part of our plan to replace Obamacare.”
Elected officials and advocates on the other side of the aisle have disputed Ryan’s claims of these programs going broke, but for the working hungry, the decision between eating or obtaining health insurance could become more difficult.