Possible SNAP cuts discussed at Ryder

RYDER – Proposed funding cuts for the SNAP program, previously known as the Food Stamp program, prompted an informational gathering late Tuesday morning at the Tyler Stafslien farm near Ryder. The event organizer was Ryan Taylor, a Towner area rancher who was a former candidate for governor of North Dakota, former state senator and state director for USDA Rural Development.

“Cutting SNAP off the farm bill would be pretty devastating regardless of party line,” said Taylor. “The White House is asking in the budget for a $154 billion cut over the next 10 years.”

SNAP has been tied to the farm bill for several years. In a press release following the informational session, host Tyler Stafslien, a farmer, stated, “SNAP provides a necessary helping hand to those in need, but it’s also a program that creates connections and forges food alliances in the farm bill. In Congress these days, it’s important to have a lot of diverse partners and then pull together as a group working hand in hand to pass a strong farm bill. A strong safety net and a robust crop insurance program are essential parts that need to be included in the bill.”

“The ag community and the community that advocates for food assistance have a lot in common,” said Taylor. “People struggling to make ends meet, those who grow the food and those who need the food all get together.”

Melissa Sobolik of the Great Plains Food Bank said proposed cuts to SNAP “would leave a gap of millions of meals that we at the Great Plains Food Bank could not fill” and that “now is not the time to take a step backwards.”

Taylor said a diverse group showed support for SNAP at the Ryder gathering, adding, “We’re asking folks to make sure our congressional delegation knows our families’ feelings to battle hunger with the farm bill.”

The event was billed as “farmers, food bank and faith” coming together to defend SNAP from budget cuts.