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SNAP is in danger of getting cut, again!
In its third proposed cut in 10 months, the Trump Administration wants to change how USDA calculates heating and cooling costs when it comes to SNAP benfits. This would cut program benefits by $4.5 billion over five years, and trim monthly benefits by as much as $75 for 1 in 5 families on SNAP.
Almost 8,000 households would lose SNAP benefits entirely, according to The New York Times.
“If the three proposals become final and are implemented, millions of SNAP participants will have their benefits reduced or cut altogether — particularly seniors, people with disabilities and working families — and 500,000 children will lose access to school meals,” Kate Leone, of advocacy group Feeding America, told The Times.
The USDA is asking for public comments on SNAP until Dec. 2, 2019.
- Copy one of our Salud America! model comments.
SNAP REDUCES BARRIERS
I am a NAMEOFPROFESSION in NAMEOFPLACE. Cuts to SNAP aggravates the struggles many low-income people have paying for costs of both food and utilities. 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 proposition makes Americans hungrier. It is the first line of defense against hunger for low-income citizens, communities of color, including Latinos, and all vulnerable people.
SNAP IMPROVES HEALTH & THE ECONOMY
SNAP cuts have dangerous impacts on health and well-being as well as on the economy. 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.
SNAP HELPS COUNTLESS OF FAMILIES
Families in NAMEOFPLACE need SNAP. ADD A PERSONAL STORY. SNAP cuts will cause 19% of SNAP households to get lower SNAP monthly benefits.
SNAP CUTS WOULD HURT INDIVIDUALS
11% of SNAP households include a person with a disability. These cuts will disproportionately impact elderly people and people with disabilities.
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The Proposed Rule
The USDA says its new rule aims to modernize how utility costs factor in when states calculate a household’s SNAP benefits.
The proposal would replace older, inconsistent calculations with a uniform approach based on national surveys of actual household utility costs in each state.
“Americans have every right to expect a program like SNAP to operate fairly and consistently across the country,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in a statement. “Utility costs vary across the country, but the great discrepancies we see in SNAP allowances mean that folks living a few miles apart across state lines may see a big difference in their benefit amounts. We are working to improve integrity and fairness in our assistance programs.”
However, advocate say these standards vary intentionally.
The changes “will have the harshest impact in Northern states where families pay a lot more in utilities during the winter months,” Stacy Dean, vice president for food assistance policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told The New York Times.
Dean also tweeted that “the Trump administration’s latest proposal to cut SNAP… would leave millions of people, including struggling families, seniors, and people with disabilities, with less help putting food on the table.”
“While some households would see a small increase in benefits under the proposal, nearly 1/5 of SNAP households would experience an average monthly benefit cut of $30 per month,” Dean tweeted, according to Common Dreams. “That can be days or weeks worth of groceries.”
Why Does SNAP Matter?
SNAP offers temporary support to provide food for people and families:
- 34% of SNAP households include seniors
- 23% of SNAP households include children
- 11% of SNAP households include a person with a disability
- 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.