Dear Member of Congress,
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) is one of the strongest tools our country has in combating hunger and poverty. I strongly urge you to reject current proposals to make massive funding cuts to SNAP, as well as attempts to shift costs to the states, which would reduce benefits for hundreds of thousands of families, particularly harming the unemployed, the elderly, and low-income working families.
Since its bipartisan origin, SNAP has operated as a national program with benefits paid by the federal government—a structure that was intended to address the enormous disparity in hunger and poverty across states and provide adequate resources in times of economic trouble. If legislation moves us away from this model, states will suffer a budget crisis attempting to pick up the costs, and many of them will fail doing so, meaning our hungry families will sink deeper into poverty, be unable to put food on the table, and our economy will suffer.
In addition, I ask that you vote against any measures that would create barriers to access to qualifying individuals (including work requirements), or that would change the successful structure of the program, including block grants.
Forty-three million people—two-thirds of whom are children, the elderly, and people with disabilities—rely on SNAP to feed themselves each day. Cutting funding, shifting costs to the state, or changing the structure of SNAP puts millions of our children and families at serious risk.
Moreover, the USDA has found that SNAP is a key public benefit program, which also serves as an economic stimulus, creating an economic boost that ripples through the economy when new SNAP benefits are redeemed.
I hope you will stand up for our economy and families who are struggling to feed their children by protecting SNAP and rejecting any funding cuts, cost shifts, or structural changes to the program.