Attributed to Matt Knott, President of Feeding America
“Today, the U.S. House of Representatives rejected the 2018 Farm Bill by a vote of 198-213. Feeding America remains concerned that cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) included in the bill would increase hunger in America. Today’s vote presents an opportunity for the House to revisit the proposed cuts to federal nutrition assistance, and we urge Members of Congress to work together on a bipartisan basis before reconsideration of the Farm Bill.
“The bill considered in the House, today, was structured to restrict eligibility of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Current SNAP rules already include employment requirements, applicable to individuals determined capable of work. The defeated House bill, however, would have expanded those requirements by including parents with elementary-school-aged children and older adults. At the same time, the bill aimed to reduce the timeline to find employment from three months to only one, an unrealistic expectation given that it takes the average person six months to find a new job. We firmly support the concept of work and fostering self-sufficiency in the SNAP program, but the proposed additional requirements by the House would have done more harm than good. Rather than placing Americans on a path to a better life, they would have created impossible hurdles. Other changes to SNAP eligibility rules would result in millions of children, seniors, veterans, active duty military, and working families losing access to SNAP food assistance.
“While Feeding America’s nationwide network of member food banks distributes more than four billion meals, annually, we simply could not fill the gap the proposed cuts to SNAP would create. For each meal provided by the Feeding America network, SNAP provides 12. If this legislation moves forward, it will mean less food on the table for children, seniors, our honorable veterans and their families and individuals with disabilities.
“Our network member food banks and partners tirelessly advocated on behalf of individuals facing hunger in advance of this vote, but we know our work is not yet done. As the bill process continues in the House and Senate, we encourage leaders in both chambers to approach this legislation from a bipartisan mindset that strong federal nutrition programs are essential building blocks for Americans trying to make ends meet on the pathway to a better life.”