Letters to the Editor

Counting on Rep. Heck to save food aid program

Kudos to Robin Evans-Agnew for the thoughtful letter (April 6) on the role of public health in making our lives longer and healthier. It’s easy to take these things for granted in our modern age.

Toward the end of the letter is the phrase “all lives matter…and we have work to do so the student nurses we educate will be at the forefront of advocating for equity and social justice…” I so appreciate this approach to educating our healthcare providers of the future. As a nation, we will have an opportunity to demonstrate our belief that “all lives matter.”

Our leaders in Congress are in the process of cutting SNAP (food stamps), which helps ensure that our elders, our children, our family members with disabilities, and our working poor have food to eat. SNAP lifted 4.8 million citizens out of poverty in 2013. In our own 10th Congressional District, over half of the households receiving SNAP had children under 18; 23.6 percent included persons 60 and over; 82 percent were working at some point during the year but qualified for SNAP.

SNAP has an incredibly low fraud rate (1 percent), but despite all this, the U.S. House proposed deep cuts that could lead to 11-12 million children and adults losing access to this essential resource. I hope that Rep. Denny Heck will oppose these cuts and efforts to “fast track” the House bill through the budget reconciliation process.

Ann Rockway

Olympia

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