Press Releases

Nutrition subcommittee examines how to break the cycle of poverty in young adults

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Washington, October 27, 2015 | comments
Today, Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-2), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Nutrition, held a hearing to examine how growing up in poverty impacts children’s ability to move up the economic ladder and break the cycle of poverty. This hearing is part of the committee’s ongoing review of the Past, Present, and Future of SNAP, currently known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and formerly referred to as food stamps. The subcommittee heard from a panel of witnesses who shared the impact poverty has on children, the challenges they face as they transition into adulthood, and ways to increase their likelihood at success as an adult.

“Today’s hearing was integral to continuing our review of SNAP and specifically, how we can help young people break the cycle of poverty. I was inspired last year when I visited a local school in my district and a student told me in front of her classmates she received SNAP benefits. It takes a great deal of courage to speak out in front of your peers about your daily struggles and that student continues to drive me to find new reforms to help children overcome the challenges they face and increase their chance at success. I also appreciated hearing from former University of Notre Dame basketball player, Ruth Riley, who testified before the subcommittee on her experiences that food stamps had on her childhood and her work on various organizations committed to ending childhood hunger,” said Subcommittee Chairwoman Walorksi.

“SNAP is an important piece in the larger puzzle of reducing poverty, but it cannot solve all of the obstacles recipients are facing. With millions of Americans relying on SNAP, we need to make sure it is a support program where recipients are encouraged to succeed and climb the economic ladder, rather than something that hinders their efforts. Employment is what makes it possible for individuals and families to rise out of poverty. This emphasis on individual success will result in a better and more stable lifestyle for adolescents affected by poverty and promote more positive outcomes as they reach adulthood,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway.

Written testimony provided by the witnesses from today’s hearing is linked below. Click here for more information, including Subcommittee Chairwoman Walorski's opening statement, and the archived webcast.

Witness list:

Panel I

Dr. Caroline Ratcliffe, Senior Fellow, The Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.

Ms. Ruth Riley, Former WNBA Athlete and Olympic Gold Medalist, Granger, IN

Dr. Eduardo Ochoa, Jr., on behalf of Children's Health Watch, Little Rock, AR

Dr. Ron Haskins
, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.
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