Congresswoman: Some of My Constituents 'Eat Dog Food When Their Food Stamps Run Out’

By Craig Millward | July 15, 2013 | 5:33pm EDT

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) (AP)

( -- Representative Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) urged the House of Representatives to keep Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in the Farm Bill, saying senior citizens in her district “eat dog food when their food stamps run out,” and adding,  “I’m sure that somewhere in America today some poor soul is relying on dog food to take them through the month.”

On the House floor on July 11, Rep. Wilson said,  “Mr. Speaker, SNAP, Food Stamps, however you phrase it, is fundamental to the nutritional supplement to millions of Americans -- black, white, feeble seniors, struggling mothers, disabled veterans and hungry children.”

“Mr. Speaker, it was reported to me that there are seniors in my district who eat dog food when their food stamps run out,” she said.  “I was appalled and went to see for myself, and I was dumbfounded. I fixed the situation, but I’m sure that somewhere in America today some poor soul is relying on dog food to take them through the month.”

(AP Photo)

Representative Wilson continued to comment,  “Mr. Speaker, please do not hurt or destroy what is a mainstay in the lives of so many Americans who are just trying to get by. Do not remove nutrition, including the food stamp program from the farm bill. It’s wrong, it’s punitive and it’s cruel.”

Today, July 15, at a Bravo Supermarket in Miramar, Florida, for example, a can of Alpo Prime Cuts dog food is on sale for 89 cents. Conversely, Bravo Brand vegetables are on sale for 68 cents a can; 16 oz. packages of Goya pasta are 78 cents; and bananas are 33 cents a pound.

Looking at wholesale prices at a Sam’s Club in Miramar, Florida, a 24-pack of 13.2 oz. Alpo Prime Cuts dog food is $14.98 and Pedigree Choice Cuts dog food is $16.60. At the same Sam’s Club, an 8-pack of 15 oz. cans of peas and corn is $5.88.

Rep. Wilson has offices in both Pembroke Pines, FL and Miramar, FL.

The House Passed the Farm Bill, which did not include the food stamp program, by a vote of 216-208.

The White House has threatened to veto this bill saying in a statement, “The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a cornerstone of our Nation’s food assistance safety net, and should not be left behind as the rest of the Farm Bill advances. If the president were presented with H.R. 2642, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”

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