“SNAP is an Anti-Hunger Program — Full Stop”
The current administration has proposed drastic changes to SNAP, our national food stamp program, that will leave some of our nation’s most vulnerable families without assistance to purchase food.
Trump’s proposal would cut funding for SNAP by approximately $17.4 billion, or one-fifth of its current budget. Remember—this is a program that provides food aid to approximately 40 million people, the majority of whom are children and the elderly.
According to federal documents, the new Budget proposes to increase SNAP work requirements to at least 20 hours or more of employment, employment-related training or community service in order to receive benefits.
New regulations do not take into account certain irregular employment arrangements or the many low-wage jobs that are disappearing, like those in the auto industry moving overseas or being replaced by technology. If a worker’s hours are unexpectedly cut or diminished, they will lose their eligibility for food stamp assistance.
The public comment period ends in April and there is still time for our voices to be heard. Consider sharing your SNAP experiences with Moms Rising here.
These changes could go into effect as soon as October, and hundreds of thousands of our neighbors across the country are at risk. In the state of Illinois, for example, more than 400,000 residents will lose their SNAP benefits overnight.
Many of our lowest paid laborers and their families depend on the food stamp program in order to avoid starvation. These laborers include some teachers, meal service employees, nurses’ aides, maintenance workers and many more.
Here are some common situations that could prevent low-income individuals from receiving SNAP benefits:
- Companies that only offer minimum waged jobs on holidays and in the summer;
- Time-limited jobs that are available only when there are increases in demand;
- Home care workers that lose their employment when a client dies or is relocated; and
- Teachers that may rely on food stamps when they are unemployed over the summer.
Many unskilled workers hold 2 or 3 jobs at minimum wage. At any time they may lose these jobs, along with their health care and food stamps, if a work requirement is imposed.
Contact your legislators and tell them that food stamps dependent on a work requirement will only lead to more hunger. Remind them that SNAP is an anti-hunger program whose only purpose is to help our most at-risk neighbors eat.