Catholic World News

Catholics urged to lobby Congress on behalf of food stamps, other programs

August 07, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Relief Services, and National Catholic Rural Life Conference are urging Catholics to ask their senators and representatives to “support and strengthen programs in the FY 2013 Federal Budget and appropriations, and the 2012 Farm Bill, that protect poor and vulnerable people in the United States and around the world, advance the common good, and promote human life and dignity.”

In particular, Catholics are asked to urge Congress to “fully fund essential domestic hunger and nutrition programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamps), which is under threat from cuts and structural changes that will harm hungry and vulnerable people,” and to “support the Food for Peace international food assistance program by funding the program at the Senate Farm Bill level of $2.5 billion.”

In addition, Catholics are asked to call upon Congress to “reduce agriculture subsidies overall and target crop insurance to small and medium-sized farms which truly need assistance and comply with sustainable and environmentally sound agriculture practices.”

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  • Posted by: - Aug. 08, 2012 1:14 PM ET USA

    The USCCB and Ctaholkic Relief Sevices display a great density of mind, considering the recent criticism of both organizations. It is surprising that the bureaucrats of bith organizations do not put emphasis on the nature of true charity - giving from one's own resources, rather than relying on other bureaucrat agencies, It is not enough, you say. Then ask God to make up the difference. It is called prayer.

  • Posted by: williiam ronner - Aug. 07, 2012 11:15 PM ET USA

    The gov't has announced that the Food Stamp Program has a 1% fraud rate. They also tell the state that they CANNOT investigate allegedly "stolen" cards until the recipient loses his card more than 3 times. Lose it 3x and you are safe. Lose it one more time and the states and cities are allowed to ask why. And the bishops want more money thrown into this program? We must feed the poor, but we must take care of those who pay the bills lest they stop paying.

  • Posted by: tjbenjamin - Aug. 07, 2012 9:05 PM ET USA

    I would like to see the federal government out of all of these charity programs. Charity needs to be free and voluntary, or it isn't charity. The federal government in this country is way too big and corrupt to be picking winners and losers. It drives up the costs of everything it touches and is inefficient besides. As a Church we must wean ourselves off of government money! It is corrupting!

  • Posted by: - Aug. 07, 2012 6:02 PM ET USA

    AMEN, sparch! We need government intrusion in people's lives, EVEN that of aiding the poor. That's exactly why they remain poor, many of them, because they know it "pays" not to work or to live so meagerly that the government will just "provide". The Church (meaning the Bishops, priests, and even us lay people) needs to focus on our own works of mercy, which are truly charitable. Simply giving money, food, whatever, to someone for not working, is modern-day slavery, and it HAS to end.

  • Posted by: FredC - Aug. 07, 2012 5:47 PM ET USA

    The bishops should stop supporting all federal programs in protest against persecution under the HHS mandate.

  • Posted by: sparch - Aug. 07, 2012 11:26 AM ET USA

    I feel like a broken record. The bishops should stay away from issues they do not understand. Politics is not an oven they should place their hand. If the church is concerned about the poor, let the bishops implement more projects from within the church to help them. That is the strength of the church and within the church.