Congressman Ted Yoho spoke at Bread of the Mighty food bank Tuesday about the importance of feeding the American people.
Yoho explained how he and his wife were on food stamps as a young couple, nearly 40 years ago.
Just last week he voted to cut the food stamp program by $40 billion over a period of 10 years.
Yoho said while one of his goals is to make sure people are fed, the national debt must be dealt through across-the-board budget cuts.
“The nutritional program has been cut, as the farm program has been cut, but the big thing coming out right now is our debt ceiling,” he said. “We’re at almost $17 trillion in debt in this country.”
As Congress decides on budget cuts, others who work with programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, are concerned the cuts could mean taking away basic common goods, like peanut butter, from the people who need them most.
“If we’re going to make those cutbacks, then we have to have more resources and support for places like this, and more job and educational opportunities to get people up the ladder out of poverty,” said Mike Demers of Bread of the Mighty Food Bank.
Yoho said food stamps are meant to be temporary and that there needs to be accountability to avoid waste and fraud. He said there will still be a safety net for those truly in need.
“You know we have people out there in need of food every day, and our goal is to make sure that the people get fed,” Yoho said. “… That’s kind of who we are as a country, we take care of people that are in need.”
Yoho said Tuesday’s visit to the food bank let him see behind the scenes in the fight against poverty.