Attributed to Kate Leone, Chief Government Relations Officer
“Feeding America is disappointed to see yet another proposed rule by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that will result in billions of dollars in lost food assistance for Americans facing hunger. The latest proposal will cut $4.5 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) over five years by taking away state flexibility to determine their own Standard Utility Allowance (SUA) methodologies. Instead, USDA will impose a standard SUA for each state, resulting in millions of households seeing a cut in their benefits. This latest proposal would take 568 million meals per year from the tables of families who need food assistance, forcing families struggling with hunger to choose between heating or cooling their homes and putting food on the table.
“This proposal marks the third administrative action in the last year to cut food assistance for millions of Americans who struggle with hunger. If the three proposals become final and are implemented, millions of SNAP participants will have their benefits reduced or cut altogether – particularly seniors, people with disabilities, and working families – and 500,000 children will lose access to school meals.
“As the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, Feeding America is deeply concerned by the continuous effort to cut food assistance for millions of American families. Private charity simply cannot compensate for the breadth of the impact of these proposed cuts. SNAP provides nine meals for each meal provided by Feeding America’s network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs.
“We will once again be leading the effort against this proposal and encouraging others to submit comments to USDA before the December 2 deadline. It is imperative that the Administration hear just how misguided this proposal is and understand the overall negative impact it will have on the health and well-being of many Americans.”
Background on Issue
Under this proposal, states would no longer be allowed to set Standard Utility Allowances (SUAs) using their own methodologies. Instead, USDA would decide for states what SUA is appropriate using national survey data. Twenty-nine states would see a significant cut in benefits, with only a few seeing increases. Nearly 20 percent of households nationally will see a loss of SNAP benefits. If enacted, the proposal would cause a loss of 568 million meals per year. This is the third administrative proposal in this year alone to cut benefits and threaten access to nutritious food for millions of Americans.
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About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of more than 200 food banks, 21 statewide food bank associations, and over 60,000 partner agencies, food pantries and meal programs, we helped provide 5.3 billion meals to tens of millions of people in need last year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; brings attention to the social and systemic barriers that contribute to food insecurity in our nation; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.