The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) provides basic food assistance for low-income families to combat hunger, food insecurity, and poverty. In 2016, SNAP lifted more than 3.5 million Americans above the poverty line, making it one of the government’s most effective anti-poverty tools.
Congress includes SNAP in the farm bill, a larger bill that contains a host of agriculture programs (like subsidies for farmers, foreign food aid, food safety, etc.). The farm bill expires every five years, meaning Congress debates and amends the provisions each cycle. The current bill is set to expire on September 30, 2018, and work has been underway for many months to draft the next farm bill.
The House of Representatives recently released its version of the farm bill. Unfortunately, this bill undermines SNAP. By including structural changes to SNAP, this bill imposes new barriers that make it harder for food insecure people to access the support they need to obtain an adequate, nutritious diet. This means advocacy in support of SNAP is even more important right now.
Urge your members of Congress to protect SNAP and support the millions of Americans who utilize this critical anti-poverty program.