Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger
 

Tell Your Representative to Support SNAP

by Kyle Dechant 

SNAP Resolution 8.13.12Did you know the following facts about the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP, formerly food stamps)? 

  • Eighty-four percent of all SNAP benefits go to households with a child, elderly person, or disabled person.
  • Eighty-five percent of families on SNAP make less than $24,000 a year (for a family of four).
  • The average SNAP allotment per household is $284 per month. 

With rhetoric about government programs heating up during this election year, some Americans are not getting reliable  information about the value and efficiency of this program to assist hungry families. 

 

SNAP is funded through the farm bill, which is due to expire on September 30. This summer, the House Agricultural Committee approved $16.5 billion in cuts, which would result in 1.8 million to 3 million people being cut from SNAP entirely (H.R. 6083). 

A small group of lawmakers in the House is fighting the proposed cuts. Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), George Miller (D-CA), and Marcia Fudge (D-OH) have introduced a resolution (H.R. 760) that highlights 29 reasons that SNAP benefits the public—including these: 

  • Every dollar in new SNAP benefits generates up to $1.79 in economic activity.
  • Each $1 billion increase in SNAP benefits is estimated to create or maintain 18,000 full-time equivalent jobs, including 3,000 farm jobs.
  • Half of all new SNAP participants receive benefits for 10 months or fewer, and 74 percent leave the program entirely within two years. 

Clearly, SNAP works! 

While the pro-SNAP resolution is nonbinding, it does give members of Congress an opportunity to show strong support for an effective program.  Enough support for this bill may make a difference in the final text of the farm bill.  

Call the Capitol switchboard (202-224-3121) or email your Representative today and ask him or her to stand up for SNAP by co-sponsoring H.R. 760. Text and current co-sponsors of the resolution can be found here

Kyle Dechant is a fellow in the government relations department at Bread for the World.

Photo:  SNAP served more than 40 million Americans in 2010. Nearly 3 million were older Americans. Photo by Meals on Wheels.

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