Salud America! Members Flood USDA with Comments to Protect SNAP!

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Members of the Salud America! network contributed to more than 75,000 comments that were submitted to regulations.gov urging the Trump Administration to protect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Over 1,650 people visited Salud America!’s take-action page for SNAP comments which contributed to overall comment numbers.

The current rule “helps poor working families accumulate modest assets for a rainy day,” Lisa Davis, the senior vice president of No Kid Hungry, told The New York Times.

Additionally, governors, mayors, attorneys general, state delegations, teachers, and pediatricians also filed comments with the USDA. These statements overwhelmingly oppose the Trump administration’s recommended rule to limit eligibility for food stamps — and cut millions from the nation’s pre-eminent food assistance program, according to the Times.

About the Proposed Rule

The proposed change comes after significant reductions to SNAP in 2018 and 2019.

The Trump administration wants to change the way states now determine who qualifies for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

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.

Experts estimate that the rule change will remove 3.6 million people from the food stamps program.

Sadly, roughly 1 million people in households with children would have incomes considered too high for eligibility. Meaning the proposed rule would significantly harm working families with children whose net incomes are below the poverty line.

Specifically, 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.

“It upsets me to no end, especially when you’re talking about my kids,” said Robert Lewis, director of nutrition services at the El Monte School District, in California, which serves 9,000 students. “I hate to even imagine even a portion of those kids not being able to have food.”

Additionally, the new rule will eliminate benefits for many seniors and people with disabilities who would be removed from the program if their assets exceed $3500.

Many other programs will also be adversely affected, including:

• Student loan forgiveness for teachers in low-income schools
• Summer and after school meal sites for kids
• The Fresh Fruit and Veggie Grant Program for low-income elementary schools
• E-rate programs for school and library technology

What’s Next

The USDA currently does not have a projected date as to when potential changes will be made.

Unfortunately, there is a strong chance the Trump administration will move forward with changes as others have despite countless of opposing comments, like Public Charge.

By The Numbers By The Numbers

84

percent

of Latino parents support public funding for afterschool programs.

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