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SNAP food assistance is at risk again, and we need your help.
Just days after legislators protected SNAP in the Farm Bill, the Trump Administration on Dec. 20, 2018, proposed a SNAP regulation that could eliminate food assistance for unemployed and underemployed people in areas with insufficient jobs; undo long-settled regulations; increase hunger and nutrition-related diseases; and increase poverty, the Food Research & Action Center reports.
You can make a public comment to tell USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue how much you value SNAP, and urge him to ensure the program continues to feed Latino and all disadvantaged families.
Here’s how you can speak up:
- Copy this model comment (add a personal story if possible): I greatly value the SNAP program. And I am not alone. SNAP is proven to improve the economy, lift millions out of poverty, and boost the health of Latino and all children, according to many experts. Any changes to the SNAP program should expand access to affordable, nutritious food, especially for the most vulnerable in our country. Rather than leaving Americans hungry, the USDA and leaders should work to ensure no one falls through the gaps.
- Visit the USDA’s “Tell Sonny” comment page.
- Check the box for “USDA programs and how they can be improved.”
- Paste the model comment in the box “What do you want to tell Sonny about your customer service experience?”
- Finish filling out the form (identification, zip code, agency).
- Type in your zip code
- Hit “Send Comment.”
Why This is Important
The Trump administration is setting out to do what this year’s Farm Bill didn’t: tighten work requirements for millions of Americans who receive federal food assistance, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Here’s the full proposed SNAP rule changes.
“At the direction of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced a proposed rule intended to move more able-bodied recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to self-sufficiency through the dignity of work,” according to a USDA news release. “The rule is meant to restore the system to what it was meant to be: assistance through difficult times, not lifelong dependency. Over time, without any changes in the underlying welfare reform legislation of 1996, that ideal has been watered down by out-of-control administrative flexibility in SNAP.
Others say “tightening restrictions will result in more vulnerable Americans, including children, going hungry,” according to the Tribune.
The majority of SNAP recipients are children, seniors, and persons with a disability.
SNAP helps recipients alleviates hunger and poverty, in which the program lifted 3.4 million people out of poverty in 2017.
For workers who earn a low wage and who can’t find steady work, SNAP helps to buy food.
“Taking essential benefits like food benefits away from those who are unemployed wouldn’t address the inequities in the labor market or the challenges that so many workers face” wrote Ed Bolen, Senior Policy Analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “Instead of punishing struggling workers, policymakers should support them through ideas with bipartisan support, such as a higher minimum wage, a stronger Earned Income Tax Credit, and paid family leave.”
Check out these SNAP stories of how the program has benefited families.
The “Tell Sonny” opportunity expires March 31, 2019.