|Farm Bill and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Cuts
Proposed changes to House farm bill could worsen the hunger problem — Baltimore Sun, November 27, 2018
The House Farm Bill would deny SNAP benefits to thousands of Marylanders and millions of Americans through time limits on program participation, unlike the bipartisan Senate version of the bill. “Most of the people who are on the food supplement program are children, seniors, and people with disabilities; no one expects them to work,” writes Michael J. Wilson, director of Maryland Hunger Solutions, in this letter to the editor. Most of the remaining participants already have jobs, yet don’t make enough or receive enough hours to make ends meet. “[I]t is important that Maryland members of Congress insist on the Senate version of the bill to ensure struggling Marylanders are not denied the nutrition assistance they need,” Wilson concludes.
Support policies that support veterans — Roanoke.com, November 26, 2018
In Virginia, 31,000 veterans rely on SNAP, but some in Congress are proposing removing that support for many, writes Salaam Bhatti, public benefits attorney for the Virginia Poverty Law Center, in this letter to the editor. The House Farm Bill includes cuts to SNAP affecting 2 million Americans, including veterans, children, and seniors, while the Senate bill protects and strengthens SNAP. “We owe veterans more than just lip service,” Bhatti concludes. “It’s time to support policies like SNAP that support them here at home.”
Pass the Farm Bill before year ends — Bismarck Tribune, November 24, 2018
North Dakota family farmers Sheila and Tim Ostrem, in this letter to the editor, encourage passage of the Farm Bill by the lame duck Congress not only because the bill is important to their work, but because they believe it’s important to pass a bill that protects and strengthens SNAP. “[W]e urge our congressional delegation of Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, Sen. John Hoeven and Rep. Kevin Cramer to get it done,” the authors write.
Advocates for the poor warn about two House bills — Athens News, November 26, 2018
A bill in the Ohio legislature would forbid the state from applying for SNAP time limit waivers for able-bodied adults without dependents. If passed, the bill would force those low-income Ohio residents who lose SNAP benefits into food pantries, soup kitchens, and food bank lines “because they can’t stand in grocery check-out lines,” said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. Already, SNAP limitations have meant 500,000 Ohioans have lost their SNAP benefits in recent years, and the state lost $2 billion in federal SNAP funding, said Hamler-Fugitt.
A lawsuit and an entrepreneurial approach in Denver helped move Colorado from troublingly bad at food aid to earning federal bonus money — Denverite, November 19, 2018
In 2008, Colorado ranked 52nd among 53 states and territories for processing SNAP cases in a timely manner; in 2016, the state earned a nearly $800,000 bonus from the federal government for ranking 2nd among states and territories. In addition, Denver Human Services has been working with Hunger Free Colorado and other nonprofits to lessen the stigma around receiving benefits, in order to encourage more eligible people to sign up for benefits.
The Homeless Crisis Is Getting Worse in America’s Richest Cities — Bloomberg Business, November 20, 2018
Big-city homelessness is most visible in the West, where shelter shortages are forcing many to sleep in their cars. The number of Seattle’s “unsheltered” homeless on a single night in January 2018 jumped 15 percent from January 2017, while the value of the city’s dominant employer, Amazon, increased 68 percent. The number of California’s homeless increased 14 percent from 2016. The combination of slow wage growth and skyrocketing rents has created a housing market out of reach for increasing numbers of people. In Los Angeles, a 5 percent rental rate increase results in 2,000 additional homeless people.
From FRAC Chat
SNAP Matters for Seniors Everywhere — FRAC Chat, November 27, 2018
Within the growing senior population, many older Americans struggle to afford the basics. With that in mind, making a case for protecting and strengthening SNAP for Americans 60 years and older is more critical than ever. FRAC, in collaboration with AARP Foundation, recently created and launched state and county maps to demonstrate that SNAP matters to seniors across our nation.