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Days after Salud America! members helped flood USDA with comments to protect the SNAP food assistance program, the comment period has reopened after a controversial new report.
Comments now can be submitted until Nov. 1, 2019.
The reopened comment period comes after a surprise release of USDA data that advocates say underscores the deep harm of its proposed rule to limit access to the SNAP. The change would eliminate food assistance for 3.1 million people and jeopardize free school meals for nearly 1 million kids, according to the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC).
“Even for those who remain eligible, forcing low-income families to navigate the burdensome paperwork will inevitably lead to eligible children losing access to a critical source of daily nutrition,” said Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA).
How to Make a Comment to Protect SNAP!
- Copy one of our Salud America! model comments:
SNAP HAS WORTH
I am a NAMEOFPROFESSION in NAMEOFPLACE. I greatly value the SNAP program in my community and for others in-need. It is well-known that SNAP improves the economy & helps families overcome poverty, according to a Salud America! Research Review. According to the USDA Economic Research Service evaluation, it is estimated that each $1 in federal SNAP benefits creates $1.79 in economic activity; that profit helps many food retailers operating on thin margins to stay in business. It also increases food access for Latino and all people. Additionally, the proposed rule will make it extremely difficult for families to work their way out out of poverty. ADD A PERSONAL STORY.
SNAP HELPS COUNTLESS OF FAMILIES
Families in NAMEOFPLACE need SNAP. ADD A PERSONAL STORY. SNAP is vital to lift millions out of poverty, according to a Salud America! report. SNAP is an essential part in tackling hunger and food insecurity in our community. This proposal makes Americans hungrier. It is the first line of protection against hunger for low-income citizens, communities of color, including Latinos, and all vulnerable people.
SNAP CUTS WOULD HURT INDIVIDUALS
Any changes to SNAP should increase access to affordable, nutritious food, especially for the most vulnerable in NAMEOFPLACE. This suggested cut to SNAP is inequitable, according to reports by the Food Action & Research Center and Salud America!. It harms susceptible populations, including Latinos and other minority groups, by blocking food benefits at a time when they most need it. ADD A PERSONAL STORY.
- Paste your comment at regulations.gov.
- Add your info.
About the Proposed SNAP Rule Change
The rule proposes to close a “loophole” called the “broad-based categorical eligibility” option.
This allows to states to offer benefits to those who would not otherwise be eligible by raising or eliminating income and asset limits needs to be closed.
Unfortunately, approximately 1 million people in households with kids would have incomes considered too high to qualify.
This means the proposed rule would considerably harm working families with children whose net incomes are beneath the poverty line.
Particularly, about 500,000 children would lose access to free school meals if the government moves forward with tightening this rule.
Currently, it offers families on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families automatic eligibility for food stamps, even if they have higher incomes and asset accumulation.
“If this rule is enacted, children will be hungry at home and school,” said Jim Weill, president of FRAC, in a statement.
“Since childhood hunger is linked to academic struggles, difficulties focusing and concentrating, mental health disorders, and increased behavioral referrals, many schools would struggle to meet the educational, health, and mental health needs of the students who lose SNAP benefits and as a result, access to free school meals.”
Why Does SNAP Matter?
This reopened comment period is now the fourth opportunity to speak up for SNAP. The Trump Administration previously proposed SNAP changes in Winter 2018-19 and Summer 2019. Another change is up for debate until Dec. 2, 2019.
SNAP offers temporary support to provide food for people and families.
- Lifts millions of people out of poverty and helps them stay out. SNAP helps recipients avoid poverty and hunger. The program lifted 3.4 million people out of poverty in 2017.
- Boosts children’s health. When children have access to SNAP, from birth through early childhood, their risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and other poor health outcomes later in life greatly decreases. Children on SNAP can immediately experience a reduction in food insecurity.
- Helps children perform better in school. Studies have found improved reading and math skills, and an increased chance of graduating from high school.
- Improves the economy. Every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates as much as $9 in economic activity, helping farmers, grocers, truckers, and other members of local and regional workforces.
Check out these SNAP stories of how the program has benefited families.
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By The Numbers
for every Latino neighborhood, compared to 3 for every non-Latino neighborhood