Congressional talks over the Farm Bill–a usually bipartisan annual bill supporting farmers, families and food–continues with heated debate over the food stamp program (SNAP), which offers proven and critical assistance to the nation’s poorest families, including families here in Utah, and helps improve health, education and career outcomes.
What’s going on with SNAP
The good: The U.S. Senate listened to the great outcry against any harmful changes to food stamps, and voted to protect SNAP in their version of the Farm Bill, which passed with strong bi-partisan support.
The bad: Things are totally different in the House of Representatives, which voted by a narrow margin to take away SNAP from millions of families and enforce strict work requirements.
The hopeful: Because the House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill are so completely different, they are going to a Conference Committee to work out the differences. So far the Senators on the Conference Committee are standing strong and saying they will not accept any bill that has additional barrier to access, especially in the form of work requirements.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Call Sen. Hatch and thank him for voting Yea on the Senate’s version of the Farm Bill and for his continued support of SNAP. Ask him to push the Conference Committee to project SNAP. (Sen. Lee voted Nay on the Senate’s version of the bill.) Call (202) 224-5251.
- Call your U.S. Rep and ask them to push for protection of SNAP in the Farm Bill on behalf of Utah families that rely on SNAP as they struggle to put food on the table. All four of our Utah Reps voted in favor of the House’s version of the Farm Bill. Rep. Rob Bishop (UT-01) is on the Conference Committee, so District 1 residents be sure to take this action! Get contact info here.
- Sign this MomsRising letter to Congress to protect SNAP in the Farm Bill.
- Share your story about how SNAP has helped your family or others you know here in Utah or around the country by clicking here.
The Farm Bill must get passed by the September 30th deadline, so act now!
SNAP is a major lifeline to millions of families around the country. In fact, SNAP helps 1 in 8 Americans across the country afford groceries, including the 1 in 4 children who live in food insecure households (CBPP). SNAP also lifts up families in communities across the U.S.: 36% of SNAP recipients are white, 25% are Black, 17% are Hispanic, and 3% are Asian (USDA). Families using SNAP live in every district in the United States.
The majority of SNAP recipients already work! Fact: Most adults on SNAP work. More than half of SNAP households with at least one working-age, non-disabled adult work while receiving SNAP — and more than 80 percent work in the year before or after receiving SNAP (CBPP). Among those who are not working, most report illness or disability, caregiving responsibilities, being recently divorced or escaping an abusive relationship, or going to school as a reason for not working.
We don’t need harmful and unnecessary work requirements in SNAP. We need policies that boost our families and our economy during difficult times!
[Adapted from MomsRising]