Congress effectively pulled money out of the hands of 47 million struggling Americans last month when it allowed massive cuts to the country’s food stamp program to go through without a hitch.

This was a callous decision. If you’re struggling to remember why, look no further than this chart from a new report by the Brookings Institution-affiliated Hamilton Project:

food stamp cuts 2013

U.S. food insecurity, an official USDA measure based off a wide-ranging survey, spiked around 2008 during the financial crisis and has since gotten worse. Meanwhile, corporations and the stock market have rebounded quite nicely.

Nevertheless, the food stamp program, technically known as the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program or SNAP, just got dealt a $5 billion annual blow, one-fourth more than even Republicans originally hoped for. That translates into a $36 monthly cut for a family of four receiving $668 in food stamps per month.

Republicans have been supportive of such cuts. In a recent HuffPost/YouGov poll, 67 percent of Republican respondents said they approved of the cuts. (Roughly 67 percent of Democrats opposed.)

Critics of the food stamp program claim that the government is too careless with benefits, giving handouts to moneyed, able-bodied adults who don't need them. However, according to a breakdown by The Hamilton Project, 87 percent of households using food stamps have a child, elderly person or disabled person in the home, all groups of people often in need:

pie chart

In fact, 91 percent of all food stamp spending goes to families living at or below the poverty line, which is $23,550 for a family of four, according to calculations by the Congressional Budget Office, cited by the Wall Street Journal.

Also on HuffPost:

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  • PepsiCo

    PepsiCo lobbied the House of Representatives in 2011 on <a href="http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/FoodStampsFollowtheMoneySimon.pdf" target="_hplink">restrictions on SNAP</a>, according to a June 2012 report, called "Food Stamps: Follow the Money." The company spent $750,000 lobbying Congress overall during the third quarter of 2011. At the same time, Pepsi donated money to anti-hunger groups working to fight health restrictions on SNAP.

  • Kraft

    Food stamp users "are a big part of our audience," Kraft's incoming CEO <a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/7ed1db42-f932-11e1-945b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz261zpCuUt" target="_hplink">recently told the <em>Financial Times</em>.</a> He said he opposes cuts to funding for the food stamp program.

  • Walmart

    Walmart stores in Oklahoma brought in more than <a href="http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20110424_11_A1_Retail460109&r=6977" target="_hplink">$500 million in food stamp money</a> between June 2009 and March 2011, the <em>Tulsa World</em> reports. During that period retailers in the state took home $1.2 billion in food stamp purchases overall.

  • Coca-Cola

    Coca-Cola <a href="http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/FoodStampsFollowtheMoneySimon.pdf" target="_hplink">lobbied Congress on SNAP in 2011</a>, according to a June 2012 report, "Food Stamps: Follow the Money." The soda-maker also lobbied against an early 2012 bill in Florida that would have enhanced the list of items food stamp users could buy with their benefits.

  • Yum Brands

    Yum Brands tried to convince lawmakers last year to <a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/7ed1db42-f932-11e1-945b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz261zpCuUt" target="_hplink">allow the company to accept food stamps</a> in its restaurants, which include Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut, according to the <em>Financial Times</em>.

  • JPMorgan Chase

    <a href="http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/FoodStampsFollowtheMoneySimon.pdf" target="_hplink">JPMorgan Chase holds the contracts</a> for Electronic Benefits Transfer or EBT -- which distributes food stamps electronically -- in half of states, according to the June 2012 report, "Food Stamps: Follow the Money." In Florida, JPMorgan's contract is worth $83 million over five years, and in New York, it's worth more than $112 million over 7 years. The bank also lobbied the USDA on EBT issues in 2011, according to the report.

  • Big Lots

    Big Lots is testing accepting food stamps in large part because so many of the company's target customers use the program. CEO Steve Fishman told analysts in an August conference call, "There is no debating that a growing percentage of our consumer base is economically stressed and becoming more dependant on government assistance," <a href="http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2012/08/big-lots-initiatives-include-food.html?page=2" target="_hplink">according to Columbus Business First</a>.

  • Cargill

    The food and agriculture producer <a href="http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/FoodStampsFollowtheMoneySimon.pdf" target="_hplink">lobbied Congress and the USDA</a> in 2011 over SNAP, according to a June 2012 report called "Food Stamps: Follow the Money." The company also donated money to anti-hunger groups that oppose health-oriented changes to SNAP.

  • Kroger

    The grocery store chain <a href="http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/FoodStampsFollowtheMoneySimon.pdf" target="_hplink">lobbied Congress on SNAP and WIC funding</a> in 2011, according to a June 2012 report, called "Food Stamps: Follow the Money." Kroger is one of the many leading food retailers that benefits from food stamp expansions, according to the report.