The Strange Politics of Southern Hunger

October 19, 2013 By Sue Sturgis

Sue Sturgis’s ZSpace Page / ZSpace

Date on which the Republican-controlled U.S. House, led by majority leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), voted to make deep cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly known as food stamps: 9/19/2013

Amount the House would slash in funding over the next decade: $39 billion

Number of Americans who rely on the food stamp program: nearly 47 million

Number of those who are children: nearly 17 million

Who are senior citizens: 5 million

Who are elderly veterans: 300,000

Of the 10 states with the greatest share of their population on food stamps, number in the South: 7

The final House vote to enact food stamp cuts: 217-210

Number of Democrats who voted for the cuts: 0

Number of Republicans who voted against the cuts: 15

Of the 15 Republicans who opposed the cuts, number who represent districts in the South: 3*

Of the 254 counties where the number of food stamp recipients doubled between 2007 and 2011, number Republican Mitt Romney won in last year’s presidential election: 213

Of those 213 counties, rank of Kentucky’s Owsley County among those with the largest proportion of food stamp recipients: 1

Percent of Owsley County’s population that receives food stamps: 52

Percent of Owsley County’s vote that Romney won: 81

Percent of Owsley County’s vote won by Republican Rep. Hal Rogers, who voted for the food stamp cuts: 84

Portion of legislators who represent America’s hungriest counties who voted in favor of food stamp cuts: 2/3

Portion of residents in Cantor’s home state of Virginia who receive food stamps: 1/8

*Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Walter Jones of North Carolina, and Frank Wolf of Virginia.