How wrong can Rep. Poliquin get it? In his op-ed on Sept. 8, he dresses up cuts to food assistance – taking food off the tables of low-income Mainers trying to make ends meet for their families – in the language of compassion. It would be an impressive effort if the lie did not also endanger thousands of people in our state who need this basic support.

Rep. Poliquin has voted to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the House-passed Farm Bill, and will undoubtedly do so again when given the chance this month. When he says the House bill doesn’t cut SNAP, what he means is that it will provide less money for the actual food in Maine refrigerators but more funds for a half-baked, underfunded and duplicative job training program. Let’s ask hungry Maine families whether or not that’s technically a cut.

As a single mom receiving SNAP, more job training programs that encourage employment in minimum wage, revolving door jobs are not going to help sustainably provide food for my family. If Rep. Poliquin were really interested in helping struggling Mainers, he would vote to support the Senate’s version of the Farm Bill, which adequately funds SNAP. Living below the poverty line means living in a constant state of stress and uncertainty.

Instead of relieving some of that stress by providing food, Rep. Poliquin wants to double down and make those forced to seek food from shelters search for employment.It’s time for Rep. Poliquin to hear from all of us that going hungry isn’t going to help Mainers find work. It will only push vulnerable families like mine deeper into poverty without any hope of getting out.

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