Last week thousands of struggling families around New Jersey lost federal food aid. The worst part is that it was completely avoidable. Legislators sent Governor Christie a budget that would have protected food assistance for these families while costing the state next to nothing — and Christie vetoed it.
Christie’s decision to kick working families when they’re down is unconscionable, but we still have a chance to undo the damage done by his veto. There’s a bill sitting on Christie’s desk that will reverse his decision — tell him to do the decent thing and sign it.
Here’s why it matters: struggling New Jerseyans stand to lose as much as $90 a month that goes directly to putting food on the family table. The average family will lose 64 meals a month. And if families look for a helping hand they may be in for a rough surprise — many food pantries around the state are already overwhelmed thanks to earlier cuts to food-assistance programs.
Preserving the heat and eat program was a no-brainer, especially because it was good for New Jersey’s economy. The program brings in millions in federal benefits to the state. Those are funds that families spend immediately – often at local grocers and other small businesses.
Christie’s decision to line-item veto the heat-and-eat program out of the budget was cruel and short-sighted, but there’s still a chance to turn things around. There’s a bill sitting on the Governor’s desk that would restore the heat and eat program, keep families from going hungry and stimulate our economy.
And all the Governor has to do is sign it.