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Editor:

The U.S. Census Bureau just released new data showing that one in eight Americans live in poverty. These numbers should shock all of us, especially since just a few months ago the House of Representatives took a vote that would make it harder for more than a million low-income families to put food on the table. They proposed draconian new requirements for SNAP (what we used to call "food stamps") in their version of the Farm Bill, even though the new census data shows that SNAP helped 3.4 million people move above the poverty line in 2017.

Fortunately, the Senate seems to understand what's at stake and passed a bipartisan farm bill that protects SNAP. Now, though, both chambers are negotiating a final version of the legislation. I hope I can count on them to do the right thing and stand up for a program that helps more than 40 million people put food on the table. Making cuts or changes to SNAP won't help anyone find work or move out of poverty — it will just make people hungry.

Congresswoman Stefanik cares about the people in her district. Please tell her to protect and expand SNAP.

Thank you.

Susan Oehser, Bakers Mills

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