The federal government has proposed changes to the rules of eligibility for millions of Americans currently receiving benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Administered through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), SNAP exists to increase food security and reduce hunger. These changes will have the exact opposite effect, eliminating part of the safety net for low-income Rhode Islanders and increasing food insecurity in our state.
As one piece of the safety net, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank will need additional resources to meet the increased need if these changes are approved.
These proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will leave 11,000 Rhode Islanders currently receiving benefits without food assistance. That’s 7% of all SNAP beneficiaries in the state. And that includes 5,000 children!
As a result of these changes, approximately $4 million SNAP dollars each year will no longer be available to support the local economy through purchases at grocery stores and other businesses.
Let the Administration know that the proposed rule to limit SNAP would increase hunger and poverty in this country, especially for working families with children whose net incomes are below the poverty line, and families and seniors with even a small amount of savings who would be kicked off of SNAP.
The proposed changes to SNAP would:
The Rhode Island Community Food Bank opposes these changes along with state agencies including: the Rhode Island Department of Human Services, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (DHS), the Rhode Island Office of Healthy Aging.
RI DHS has identified that, of the households they anticipate losing benefits:
We hope you too will join us in expressing your concerns for these changes by submitting a public comment with the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) by September 23.