[The Washington Post]

The holiday season is beginning, which means two things: Many Americans will eat too much, and many others won’t have nearly enough.

November will be tougher than usual for the hungry because it kicked off with a brutal blow to their already- meager food budgets, ensuring that 48 million men, women and children will be even hungrier this Thanksgiving.

That blow, which took effect Nov. 1, is the direct result of congressional action to prematurely cut special food stamp assistance. These benefits had been boosted in 2009 because families were struggling with the effects of the financial crisis. Although many families continue to struggle today, the increased aid has ended.

It is a testament to the powerlessness of America’s poor and our growing economic and political divisions that so little attention has been paid to this change — particularly by policymakers. To those affected, the impact is immediate and devastating, and it makes the pending farm bill, which outlines billions more in cuts, terrifying.