(Canton, OH) September 20, 2018 – United Way of Greater Stark County’s Women United are fighting for an end to hunger by supporting the Senate’s bipartisan SNAP provisions that protect and improve SNAP. Today is Women United Advocacy Day on SNAP.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) is the nation’s largest anti-hunger program. In Stark County, over 43,000 low income residents rely on SNAP for timely, targeted and temporary support to purchase food. That’s more than one out of every ten community members. SNAP is a mandatory funded program (anyone who qualifies is entitled to receive SNAP) and the program is authorized through the Farm Bill, which is set to expire September 30, 2018. Congress has started the re-authorization process for the Farm Bill, at which time lawmakers can restructure SNAP program guidelines and administration. We need to ensure that any changes to SNAP improve the program and do not take food away from children, working people, and people struggling to make ends meet.
On June 28th, the Senate passed its bipartisan Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (commonly known as the Senate Farm Bill) in a 86-11 vote. The Senate Farm Bill maintains eligibility for SNAP and makes sensible, incremental changes that support work by improving the SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) program.
Some key points about the Senate bill: maintains current law for eligibility; maintains existing work requirements and time limits (ex. all must register to work, adults age 18-49 without disabilities who aren’t taking care of children have three months to find work and meet requirements before being ineligible for SNAP); supports work by improving the SNAP E&T Program.
To date the House Farm Bill (H.R. 2) has been partisan, and includes deep cuts to SNAP due to harsher time limits for people looking for jobs and changes in eligibility. The first attempt at passage for H.R. 2 failed, largely due to internal politics and the second vote on the House Farm Bill narrowly passed 213-211 on June 21st.
Some key points about the House bill: Creates harsher time limits for more people who are seeking work; expands the SNAP Employment & Training Program ten-fold (though still underfunding the program given the dramatic expansion of those requiring services); the nonpartisan CBO estimates that nearly 2 million Americans would lose access to SNAP, or experience a cut to SNAP, with the policy changes the House proposes.
Take action with women across the country:
• Join the Photo Awareness Campaign. Print the sign available on our website, snap a selfie or group photo with it then post it on your favorite social media platform using hashtags #WomenUnited #ProtectSNAP #FarmBill18
• Make a call to 202-225-6265 or write a letter online at www.unitedway.org/get-involved/take-action/fight-hunger-and-boost-american-workers to Representative Gibbs to protect SNAP in final negotiations on the Farm Bill, which expires September 30.
“United Way of Greater Stark County is one of the eleven Ohio United Ways that can help make a difference in Congressional negotiations regarding SNAP in the Farm Bill”, says Maria Heege, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Stark County. “Representative Gibbs is on the Conference Committee tasked with reconciling the House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill and as his constituents, he needs to hear your voice.”
United Way thanks Senator Brown for all his bipartisan efforts on the Senate version of the Farm Bill. Learn more about you can change lives by visiting www.uwstark.org or contribute to making our community a better place for our neighbors by texting UWSTARK to 41444.