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Food Pantry Slams Trump's 'Very Harmful' Proposed Food Stamp Cuts

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Greater Chicago Food Depository said President Donald Trump's massive proposed cuts to the food stamp program over the next decade would be disastrous.

The Trump administration's budget proposal, to be released Tuesday, was expected to include $193 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program over the next decade.

In Illinois, SNAP recipients use Illinois Link debit cards to access their food stamp funds.

Calling it the front line of defense against hunger, Food Depository spokesman Jim Conwell defended SNAP.

"It is essential, effective, and efficient," he said.

Conwell said the 25 percent cut to SNAP funding would mean demand on food pantries and their network would skyrocket.

"At a time when more than 42 million people in America, and more than 1.5 million in Illinois are at risk of hunger, these cuts would be very harmful, and would push more people to food insecurity and hunger," he said.

According to Conwell, the proposed funding cuts would be nearly impossible to overcome.

"We couldn't do this alone, and if SNAP were going to be significantly cut, private charity couldn't make up the difference," he said.

SNAP dollars go directly to the hungry. While the Food Depository does receive federal funds for distributing emergency food assistance, it gets most of its funding through private donations.

Conwell encouraged anyone who opposes the proposed cuts to food stamps to contact their congressman.

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