Representative Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) recently offered a poignant anecdote highlighting the human toll wrought by the pestilence and famine that has beset America, making an impassioned plea to her colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives last week to help the impoverished, destitute and hungry recipients of food stamps in her district, who have resorted to eating dog food when their monthly government food subsidy runs out.
On July 11, Wilson recounted her constituents’ anguished, demeaning battle for survival to illustrate the urgency of keeping the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the Farm Bill.
“Mr. Speaker, SNAP; Food Stamps – however you phrase it – is fundamental to the nutritional supplement to millions of Americans – black, white, feeble seniors, struggling mothers, disabled veterans and hungry children,” she said.
“Mr. Speaker, it was reported to me that there are seniors in my district who eat dog food when their food stamps run out. I was appalled and went to see for myself, and I was dumbfounded. I fixed the situation, but I’m sure that somewhere in America today some poor soul is relying on dog food to take them through the month…Mr. Speaker, please do not hurt or destroy what is a mainstay in the lives of so many Americans who are just trying to get by. Do not remove nutrition, including the food stamp program from the Farm Bill. It’s wrong, it’s punitive and it’s cruel.”
Nevertheless, the House turned a blind eye to the plight of starving Floridians whose profligacy with their food subsidies has left them wanting at the end of each SNAP cycle, passing the Farm Bill without the food stamp program on a 216-208 vote. The Administration of President Barack Obama, a strong advocate for SNAP and free food, has threatened to veto a Farm Bill that omits the lifesaving SNAP program.
CNS News found that a little consumer enlightenment might benefit both species:
Today, July 15, at a Bravo Supermarket in Miramar, Florida, for example, a can of Alpo Prime Cuts dog food is on sale for 89 cents. Conversely, Bravo Brand vegetables are on sale for 68 cents a can; 16 oz. packages of Goya pasta are 78 cents; and bananas are 33 cents a pound.
Looking at wholesale prices at a Sam’s Club in Miramar, Florida, a 24-pack of 13.2 oz. Alpo Prime Cuts dog food is $14.98 and Pedigree Choice Cuts dog food is $16.60. At the same Sam’s Club, an 8-pack of 15 oz. cans of peas and corn is $5.88.
It’s not known whether the dog population in Ms. Wilson’s district is yet in decline, as dogs and humans have been reduced to warring with each other over an increasingly scarce common food source. Animal rights groups have thus far been silent on the sad struggle between dog and man to secure store-bought dog food, one of the basic necessities of life. It’s also not been confirmed that those forced to eat dog food indeed included children – a condition we obviously can’t tolerate.