Leave it to a liberal congressman from where else? Massachusetts, to opine that the food stamp benefit program is “too low”, Rep James McGovern (D-Mass) said during a House Committee hearing: “Let me say something that should be crystal clear to all of my colleagues: the SNAP benefit is too low.”

Obviously the $74,137,240.000 price tag according to the Department of Agriculture, SNAP program isn’t big enough to suite McGovern’s taste (excuse the pun).

McGovern continued; “It is not enough to take care of the food and nutrition needs of those on the benefit. SNAP recipients must rely on food banks and charities to have enough food for the month.”

McGovern asked panelists taking part in the hearing if the food stamp benefit was adequate to meet basic needs.

“I do believe that the SNAP benefit is adequate for a large number of households that are participating,” said Angela Rachidi, a research fellow in poverty studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

However Committee chairwoman Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) voiced concern about the cost of the program and overlap of food nutrition programs.

“According to GAO, there are at least 18 different nutrition assistance programs, and together they spend over $100 billion annually of taxpayer funds,” she said. “While SNAP accounts for three out of four dollars of that today, it’s not alone in providing nutrition assistance.”

“The reality is that a majority of SNAP households are also eligible and receive benefits from one of the other major nutrition assistance programs,” Walorski added. “In some cases, multiple programs might be funding the same meals. For example, recipients may receive USDA commodity food packages through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, while also receiving SNAP benefits.”

“Our job today is to figure out where overlap, duplication, or inefficiency exists,” Walorski said. “Then, we can more expertly target our limited resources to places with potential unmet needs or weaknesses in the system.”

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