Protect SNAP Benefits for the Hungry
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is urging Catholics to contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to protest a proposed change in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) - our nation's foremost anti-hunger program. Each year SNAP lifts millions of low-income Americans out of food insecurity.
ne way that individuals and families can be considered eligible for SNAP benefits is by automatically becoming eligible based on whether they already receive cash or non-cash Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits; this is called "categorical eligibility". Current categorical eligibility rules for non-cash benefits give states the flexibility to adjust their eligibility cutoffs and design their SNAP programs to meet the needs of their citizens. Forty-three states, including Wisconsin under its FoodShare program, are using this flexibility to provide needed nutrition assistance to low-income families.
The USDA has
proposed a rule
that limits the application of categorical eligibility for SNAP, essentially revising the income and asset limits for SNAP eligibility. These changes would make the SNAP program less efficient, discourage personal savings, undermine the ability of states to respond to local needs, and cause 3.1 million people to lose needed nutrition assistance. Congress already has considered and rejected similar changes twice, during debate on the 2014 Farm Bill and the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.
The proposed rule fails to protect human life and dignity. Access to adequate food and nutrition is a universal right because healthy food is absolutely necessary to sustain human life. Please contact the USDA and urge the withdrawal of this rule. The USDA should instead continue to allow states to provide families in need access to necessary food and nutrition programs by retaining the bipartisan policies implemented in the recently-passed 2018 Farm Bill.
You can learn more about the USCCB's longstanding support of nutrition programs, including SNAP
Thank you for speaking up for those who are hungry!