The Trump administration is proposing changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that would take away food assistance from 3 million people struggling to put food on the table.
The proposal is similar to legislation considered and rejected by Congress in the 2018 Farm Bill discussions. Bread for the World opposes the proposed rule and calls on the federal government to protect and strengthen programs that reduce hunger and improve nutrition in this country.
Strong nutrition programs, such as SNAP, are vital to achieving an end to hunger. Faith-based organizations, congregations, and people of faith across the country reach the most vulnerable in our neighborhoods through food pantries, soup kitchens, and community outreach programs.
As people of faith, we will continue to do our part to feed and support our neighbors, but we cannot match the role of the U.S. government in assisting and supporting the 1 in 8 Americans who live at risk of hunger. In fact, federal nutrition programs provide roughly ten times more food assistance than private churches and charities.
The latest proposal would change SNAP eligibility rules by restricting a policy known as Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility (BBCE). In practice, BBCE has made it easier for SNAP applicants, particularly low-income working families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities, to access food assistance.
More than 40 states have used BBCE to raise SNAP income eligibility and/or adopt less restrictive asset tests. This has allowed low-income working families facing high costs of housing or child care to qualify for SNAP as well as for families, seniors, and people with disabilities to have modest savings without losing food assistance.
The proposed rule would restrict this practice, ending SNAP eligibility for 3.1 million people. In addition, 500,000 children would lose access to free school meals.
This proposal is open for public comment through Monday, September 23, 2019. For a list of resources, including model comments and background information, visit http://bit.ly/SNAPRuleCampaign2.