Spread the Word(CNN) — In the last few weeks, the media has been ablaze with news of the government shutdown, the debt limit and health care reform. Missing from most public debate, however, is the cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits that will take place on November 1 and will affect every one of the more than 47 million Americans (including seniors, parents, children and 900,000 U.S. military veterans) who depend on the program to help meet their basic nutritional needs.

Most families do not have enough to make it through the month already — 90% of SNAP benefits are redeemed by the third week of the month and 58% of food bank clients currently receiving SNAP turn to food banks for help at least six months out of the year.

Food stamp benefits are being cut for millions of Americans on the very edge of society.  For a family of four, the cuts are equivalent to losing 21 meals a month.

The upcoming cuts will result in an increased need for food assistance at food pantries and soup kitchens across the nation when many are already stretched meeting sustained high need in the wake of the recession.

The cuts this week are significant and will put a strain on millions of families struggling with food insecurity, hitting them right before the holiday season. Adding to this is the fact that Congress is considering much deeper cuts to SNAP benefits and eligibility restrictions that will affect millions of low-income people as part of the farm bill.

While we cannot stop this week’s SNAP cuts, we can prevent further cuts from taking place. Call your member of Congress and tell them not to cut SNAP.

In the 5th District of Virginia:

The Honorable Robert Hurt
United States House of Representatives
125 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-4605
Twitter: @reproberthurt