Farm Bill draft would take food away from people struggling to find work

Washington, DC, April 12, 2018 – Today House Agriculture Committee Chair Mike Conaway (TX-11) unveiled a draft Farm Bill that would take basic food assistance away from low-income Americans struggling to find work. The proposed bill imposes a series of harsh new “work requirements” on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), jeopardizing access to the program that has moved millions of Americans over the poverty line. The draft bill does call for an increase in access to job training programs, but only pays for those changes by cutting food benefits. It also imposes stricter guidelines on “categorical eligibility,” which many states use to decide who can access SNAP.

Statement from Joanne Carter, Executive Director of RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund:

“Today, the House introduced a Farm Bill that, if passed, would take food assistance away from people struggling to find work. This is not only inhumane, but counterproductive. Being hungry or sick just makes every task that much harder. We all want to see everyone have a chance to move up the economic ladder – but job training programs shouldn’t be paid for by taking away food from low-income households. Unfortunately, that is what this Farm Bill does. It also makes the “cliff effect” worse, penalizing families for earning more. 

SNAP (formerly food stamps) is an astonishingly effective federal program that currently helps over 40 million people in the United States buy groceries and put food on the table. Close to two-thirds of SNAP recipients are children, elderly or people with disabilities. Of those that remain, more than half already work. If Congress is serious about helping more people make ends meet, they should be strengthening food benefits and access to job training programs – not trading one for the other.

A slew of draconian new requirements will not help people find or keep jobs. What they will do is leave people hungry and without a way to feed their families – right on the heels of a massive tax cut for the wealthy and corporations. I urge members of Congress to vote against a bill that will only worsen poverty, inequality, and food insecurity in this country. Instead they should put forward a robust bipartisan bill that protects and strengthens SNAP. We can – and must – do better.”

 

About RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund:

RESULTS supports a movement of passionate, committed everyday people using their voices to influence political decisions that will bring an end to poverty. Volunteers and staff multiply their impact through the enormous power of advocacy.

Our movement of volunteers is backed by a staff of researchers, policy analysts, and legislative and media experts. Our shared goal is the end of poverty. We have affiliates and partners across five continents, and a network of volunteers in all 50 states and worldwide. We’re a non-partisan advocacy group comprised of RESULTS Educational Fund, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, and RESULTS, a nonprofit 501(c)4 grassroots lobbying organization.

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