Letter: Advocates from Around the Country Unite Against the Farm Bill and Say #HandsOffSNAP

Just a few months ago, Congress added $1.9 trillion to the deficit by passing massive tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and big corporations. Now, House leaders are proposing to slash key programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). H.R. 2, the House Farm Bill, which passed on a party line vote in the House Agriculture Committee, jeopardizes the economic security of women and families by threatening to take food off the kitchen table. The National Women’s Law Center is joined by 166 local, state, regional, and national organizations in opposing the Farm Bill’s grave threats to the health, economic security, and opportunity of women and families. In our May 9 letter, we make clear that draconian cuts to SNAP benefits and increased bureaucratic red tape will not help get more people quality jobs, but rather will increase food insecurity. When women and families lose, we all lose.

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the below 167 organizations dedicated to advancing the health, economic security, and opportunity of women and families and eradicating their barriers to success, we write to express our opposition to the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2). This bill’s proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) threaten the economic security of women and families by proposing restrictions on categorical eligibility, mandatory participation in the federal child support enforcement program, harsh expansions of work requirements, and increased paperwork for families and states.

Millions of people across the country face challenges in feeding their families. Many people are just one job loss, one schedule downgrade, or one sickness away from needing SNAP to help feed their families. SNAP is critical in filling this need. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, SNAP served more than 44.2 million people in nearly 21.8 million households on average each month. Half of children in the U.S. will receive SNAP at some point during childhood, and half of all adults will do so at some point between the ages of 20 and 65. SNAP is also essential to women, who make up 63 percent of SNAP adult recipients. SNAP serves a diverse group of people of every race, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability status in rural, suburban, and urban areas of the United States.

Congress should combat hunger and food insecurity by protecting and strengthening SNAP in a bipartisan Farm Bill. Yet, H.R. 2 abandons that bipartisan approach and contains harsh proposals that would lead to more than 2 million individuals losing SNAP benefits altogether or having them reduced. […]

You can read and download our full letter, with signers and footnotes, here.