Marine Dageville, CFJC Food Policy Research Intern
On September 19th, the House of Representatives voted to cut $39 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, commonly known as food stamps). Four short months ago, I would have been angry that the House could blatantly remove nutrition programs that support low-income communities in our country. But today, I am outraged. After a summer spent interning for the Community Food and Justice Coalition (CFJC), I have learned the intricacies of the Farm Bill, food security and food justice in general.
The deep cuts in the bill will affect four to six million low-income people from being able to access nutrition programs. At the same time, earlier this summer the House of Representatives increased crop insurance subsidies by $10 billion. How is this allowed? Where is the justice in this system for low-income Americans?
What is happening in our government can make anyone believe that hope is futile, but this summer I learned that social change is coming. CFJC opened my eyes to how this is happening at the national, state and local level through different types of projects and actions to which ordinary citizens and communities are contributing.
As a research intern for CFJC, I was shown a new way of thinking: one where community, justice and food are all coming together to effect change. Some people are still resistant to the idea that change is coming and they are digging in their heels every step of the way, but seeing all the work (and hope!) ahead has made me even more determined to becoming a part of the change.
As my college classes begin, I will never forget the difference that CFJC has made in my life by giving me so much knowledge and the tools to fight inequities in our food system. Thank you so much to everyone at CFJC for giving me an unforgettable experience!