Polling Data Shows Overwhelming Support for Efforts to End Hunger

FRAC
Food Research Action Center (FRAC)
May 16, 2013
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By an overwhelming margin, American voters oppose cutting food stamp assistance (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) as a way to reduce government spending, according to new poll data released today by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).

As the House and Senate Agriculture Committees prepare to take up the Farm Bill, new polling data released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) show that support for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) remains high. Seven in 10 voters say that cutting food stamp funding is the wrong way to reduce government spending.

Despite broad support for SNAP and broad opposition to cutting this program that is helping millions of low-income Americans, some in Congress – from both sides of the aisle – continue to propose cuts to the program.

“Any cut to SNAP means less food in the refrigerator for struggling seniors, families with children, veterans, people with disabilities, and unemployed people. Voters recognize the harsh impact of such cuts, and it is time for Congress to come to the same conclusion,” said FRAC President Jim Weill.

The poll of 850 registered voters was conducted online from April 29 to May 1, 2013, by Hart Research Associates on behalf of the Food Research and Action Center.

Voters also were posed a choice between cutting food assistance to low-income families or cutting subsidies to farmers as a way to reduce federal spending. A plurality of voters (51 percent) chooses neither to cut, but more voters would rather see cuts in subsidies to farmers (34 percent) than cuts to food assistance for low-income households (19 percent). And among the majority of voters who do make a choice, reducing spending on subsidies for farmers is the preferred choice for nearly all major population groups, including voters living in the Midwest, the South, rural and small town voters, and Republicans.

Other findings from the poll include:

  • When voters learn that Congress is considering cutting billions of dollars from the food stamp program to reduce government spending, 70 percent say this is the wrong way to reduce spending—over half (51 percent) feel strongly about this—while just 30 percent favor the cuts. Women oppose cuts by 73 percent.
     
  • Voters in rural communities and small towns reject cuts decisively, by 68 percent to 32 percent.  Support for food stamps also crosses generational lines—67 percent of both young voters (under age 35) and seniors reject food stamp cuts.
     
  • Rural and small town voters also are more likely to favor greater government spending to address hunger (39 percent) than less (31 percent), as are voters with children under 18 (48 percent to 23 percent).
     
  • Republican support for cuts is modest at best: 37 percent of Republicans say that the federal government should spend less, while 63 percent of Republicans want to see current spending levels continue (34 percent) or increase (29 percent).

Click below to download the poll summary and poll results.

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