Obvious omission is Rep. Gibson


To the Editor:
There was an obvious omission in your article last week about the “big” effects of the recent cuts in the SNAP (food stamp) program on our state and more specifically the Catskill Region [“Farm Bill could have big local price”].  
You talked about our senators but made no mention of Congressman Chris Gibson. Last July I emailed Congressman Gibson my disappointment with his cynical vote to strip the SNAP program from the farm bill.  Although he contended that the ultimate result would be level funding, his Republican colleagues who control the House were advancing their agenda of making steep cuts in food stamps while keeping the cuts to the other parts of the bill limited.  Congressman Gibson did vote against the steep cuts last summer but he enabled the passing of those cuts by voting to strip food stamps from the comprehensive Farm Bill, something that had to be an obvious result.  
With the January vote on the entire Farm bill that was accepted by both houses of congress, Congressman Gibson declared it, “Good for New York and good for the country.”  Perhaps the other parts of the bill are good for our region and our farmers and if so, I applaud that.
However having worked in the former Margaretville Food Pantry for many years, I know firsthand how important both the food pantries and food stamps are to a lot of very vulnerable people living here, including seniors, young families, disabled workers and people just down on their luck.  You state that the average loss in our state will be around $90 per month.  That’s quite a loss and it is not “good for New York” or for New Yorkers in spite of our Congressman’s judgment about his accomplishment.

Marc J. Osterweil, Margaretville