Congress is currently considering the new Farm Bill, a traditionally bipartisan bill that secures policies around food production and agriculture. The vast majority of the bill this year was written with bipartisan input and is supported across the aisle, but proposed changes to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps) have become highly controversial. Both sides would like safety net programs like SNAP to help lift Americans out of poverty permanently and increase independence and personal responsibility. However, the proposed changes to SNAP would fail to achieve these goals.
What are the harmful changes to SNAP in the farm bill?
- Expanded work requirements to include older Americans (ages 50-64) make it harder for states to feed people in times of high unemployment
- Re-imposed asset limits create barriers to participation and a disincentive to save
- Work requirements for 18-59 year olds who aren’t currently employed or participating in training for 20 hours a week create red tape that will make it harder to put food on the table for people at a critical time when they are temporarily between jobs, including parents raising kids and low-wage workers
These sweeping changes to SNAP look to save money to pay for the tax reform bill. However, they could also harm millions of struggling families in a program that is proven to effectively lift Americans out of poverty without any of the changes. 41 million Americans rely on the food assistance program each year.
What you can do
- Call your US congressman and two senators TODAY and request that SNAP be protected from these harmful changes! As always, be sure to leave your city and zip code so your elected officials know you are a constituent.
- Sign this Moms Rising petition asking Congress to protect SNAP in the Farm Bill.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (202) 224-5251 (DC) // (801) 524-4380 (SLC) // (801) 375-7881 (Provo) // (435) 634-1795 (St. George) // (801) 625-5672 (Ogden) // (435) 586-8435 (Cedar City)
Sen. Mike Lee 202-224-5444 (DC) // 801-524-5933 (SLC) // 435-628-5514 (St. George) // 801-392-9633 (Ogden)
Rep. Rob Bishop (Congressional District 1): 202-225-0453 (DC) // 801-625-0107 (Ogden)
Rep. Chris Stewart (Congressional District 2): 202-225-9730 (DC) // 801-364-5550 (SLC) // 435-627-1500 (St. George)
Rep. John Curtis (Congressional District 3): (202) 225-7751 (DC) // (801) 851-2500 (Provo)
Rep. Mia Love (Congressional District 4): (202) 225-3011 (DC) // 801-996-8729 (West Jordan)
Suggested Talking Points
- Harmful cuts and changes to SNAP jeopardize the historically bipartisan nature of the Farm Bill and make it harder for working families – including people of color and persons with disabilities – to put food on the table.
- Not only do the proposed changes to SNAP harm the 41 million Americans who rely on food assistance from the program, but also would negatively impact the retail industry — the nation’s largest employer — and therefore have harmful consequences across the nation.
- Despite its effectiveness, House leaders want to impose stricter time limits on SNAP benefits for those looking for work, families with children, and older Americans. This will hit communities of color the hardest; African American, Hispanic, and Native households are more likely to face long-term unemployment than white households.
- The current Farm Bill perpetuates myths about SNAP and work, when in truth the majority of SNAP recipients who can work already do. Even worse, these policies reinforce racist stereotypes that have continually denied communities of color full participation in the American economy.
- In 2016, SNAP (formerly, Food Stamps) helped 13 million African Americans and 10 million Hispanics put food on the table each month.
- SNAP is critical to lifting millions of Americans out of poverty.
- Share why this issue is important to you. Do you have a story about how SNAP impacts your family? Share it!