The Food Bank’s advocacy team takes stand against proposed work requirements rule for SNAP

Laura Sylvester (left) and Christina Maxwell (right), the advocacy team for The Food Bank

The Food Bank’s advocacy team recently submitted a public comment to the USDA in opposition to a proposed SNAP work requirements rule change. The federal government wants to make the already strict work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) even stricter. The proposed rule would cut $15 billion in food benefits over a 10-year period, leaving 755,000 without the ability to afford food. Currently, ABAWDs must work or volunteer 20 hours per week to qualify for SNAP benefits. States can waive the rule in areas with high unemployment, but the new rule would take away states’ ability to do this, thereby throwing hundreds of thousands of people off of SNAP when they’re unable to find consistent employment. Social service organizations (including The Food Bank), lawmakers, and private citizens around the country have raised concerns about the devastating effects this new rule would have on low-income households.

“SNAP is an incredibly valuable resource not only for the individuals and families that receive the benefit, but for many sectors of the community at large,” the advocacy team’s letter states. “We strongly oppose USDA’s proposed rule that would expose even more people to the arbitrary SNAP food cutoff policy and harm our community.”

The Food Bank successfully submitted our comment through the USDA’s official website portal, but due to technical glitches experienced during the last few days of the open period, others could not. Therefore, from April 8 through April 10, the USDA will re-open the comment period to allow for increased public participation. Learn more about how you can submit a comment during that time.