URGENT: Tell Congress to Save SNAP (food stamps)!
One in four (24.7%) Louisiana families have a difficult time putting food on the table throughout the year, the second highest rate of “food hardship” in the nation, according to the latest data from the Food Research Action Center. That’s what makes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) so important in our state. SNAP helps nearly 1 in 4 Louisiana families afford groceries each month, benefiting more than 400,000 Louisiana children.
Unfortunately, SNAP is under attack. The federal farm bill contains the funding and rules for SNAP, and that bill is being debated in Congress now. There are currently two very different farm bill proposals, which a conference committee must reconcile into one final piece of legislation:
The House version of the farm bill includes harmful cuts and changes that would take away food assistance from thousands of Louisiana families. It would cut funding for SNAP benefits by nearly $19 billion and divert much of that money to a risky new scheme of ineffective and unproven work programs.
The Senate version of the farm bill is a bipartisan solution that protects and strengthens SNAP by allowing more states to participate in the SNAP employment and training pilots set up in the last bipartisan farm bill and dedicating more funding to those pilot programs. These changes will help ensure that the investments made in job training for SNAP enrollees are evidence-based and proven to work before they are expanded.
Contrary to its sponsors’ claims, the House bill’s provisions would not help people who can work find good-paying jobs. Instead, the bill would require state’s to establish woefully underfunded work programs and apply unforgiving penalties that would take away food from Louisianans who don’t prove every month that they work enough hours or qualify for an exemption. These changes would only worsen Louisiana’s already staggering rates of hunger and poverty.
SNAP has long been one of our nation’s most powerful and effective poverty-reduction programs. It helps fill the gaps for workers with low wages and unsteady hours and helps workers weather tough periods in between jobs. The more a worker earns while they’re on SNAP, the smaller their benefits get. We shouldn’t starve Boudreaux to employ Bubba. Protecting and strengthening SNAP — not cutting it — is the right way forward.
Enter your voting address to tell your members of Congress that you support the Senate farm bill’s bipartisan provisions that protect SNAP and that you oppose harmful cuts to SNAP as included in the House farm bill.