Monday, November 11, 2013

A-dae Romero Co-Publishes Article on Impact of SNAP Cuts on American Indians

LL.M. candidate A-dae Romero made another stride in her impressive contributions to discussions on how food and agricultural law affects American Indians.  She and co-author Raymond Foxworth, a Ph.D. candidate at CU-Boulder, published "Snatching Food from the Mouths of Babies: SNAP Cuts" in Indian Country Today.  Indian Country Today is the largest media platform in Indian Country.

The article details the effects of the November 1 SNAP cuts on American Indians, a group that will be hit especially hard by these cuts.  The article discusses these troubling statistics:
  • "In 2010, 24 percent of all American Indian households in the United States received SNAP benefits, compared to roughly 13 percent of all U.S. households."
  • ". . . one in every four American Indians is food insecure [and] one in three American Indian children are food insecure."
  • " . . . almost every American Indian reservation is classified as a 'food desert,' meaning that access to affordable and quality healthy food is extremely difficult."
  • "In Indian country, where the price of food is already higher than in urban areas and where the cost of traveling to food centers put additional expenses on food, these cuts will have exponential effects on already vulnerable Indian families and seniors.  For example, while the average cost of a gallon of milk is $3.50 in a typical American city, on reservations in New Mexico the cost is $4.95 and over $10 in Alaska native communities."
The article also questions government savings from SNAP cuts.  It points out that "food insecurity and obesity rates are strongly linked" and "that obese individuals pay $1,723 more a year in health care costs than an average-weight person."  As most SNAP participants use publicly-funded health care, the article questions whether the cuts will cause any net savings or if they merely divert money from the poor to the medical industry.

The article cited to an earlier article on the effects of SNAP cuts by LL.M. candidate Erin Shirl. Erin's research showed that over 51 percent of SNAP recipients are still food insecure.

Watch for more of A-dae's work on this and similar topics throughout the rest of the academic year.

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