Help protect SNAP benefits for millions of Americans! On July 23, the USDA announced a proposed rule change for SNAP (food stamps) which they estimate would cause 3.1 million Americans to lose benefits.
Feeding America, the nations largest network of food banks, was one of many voices to respond swiftly in opposition:
“SNAP is the first line of defense for food-insecure households. Restricting ‘Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility’ (‘Cat El’ for short) would eliminate SNAP benefits for more than 3 million people by USDA’s own estimates. It would also take free school meals away from hundreds of thousands of children whose enrollment is linked to their families’ SNAP participation.”
The proposed rule will have greatest impact on SNAP recipients in 43 states which currently participate in Broad Based Categorical Eligibility. Neither Kansas or Missouri are among these states. However, it is important to note that the economic development impact of SNAP has national impact. A 2010 study by the USDA found that for every dollar spent on SNAP, $1.79 is generated in GDP. An 8% reduction will have ripple effects even in states like ours; grocery chains will struggle, regional food banks will face increased demand, and more.
Before the proposed rule can become law it must first go through a 60 day public comment period. The USDA must then review and respond to each unique public comment before it can issue a final decision to rescind, revise or enact the rule.
We will work with national and regional partners to respond to the proposal, including working with partners and stakeholders to collect and submit comments. In the mean time, please share!
Lobbying note: Federal law treats proposed rule changes such as this one differently for purposes of non-profit lobbying activity. Taking a position or urging others to take positions on such rule changes is NOT considered a lobbying activity under federal law.
Photo: SNAP benefits are provided through EBT, or electronic benefits cards, which work like debit cards.