Nearly 665,000 people in Massachusetts lack reliable access to good food. At Project Bread, we work tirelessly to secure our federal nutrition programs, which provide consistent, healthy, and non-stigmatizing meals for millions of people every day.
On October 19, the U.S. Senate passed its proposed budget, which opens the door for tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Many believe these tax cuts will ultimately be paid for by cutting spending on social safety-net programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). On October 26, the House of Representatives voted to accept the Senate version of the budget. Today, you can be an advocate for healthy food for all by helping to protect SNAP.
TAKE ACTION by urging friends and family in other states to call their Senators and Representatives at (202) 224-3121.
The message is simple: We want federal spending that benefits all Americans. NO cuts to SNAP and NO turning SNAP into a block grant program. Send them this page for more information, along with this script that they can use for the call.
Keep reading to learn more about SNAP and the proposed cuts.
SNAP is currently an entitlement program. This means that everyone who qualifies for the program receives benefits. After unemployment benefits, it is the most responsive federal safety net. It is designed to expand when the economy is struggling. And in better economic times – like now – fewer households are enrolled in SNAP as more adults go back to work.
Very poor households receive more SNAP benefits than households with income closer to the poverty line since they need more help affording an adequate diet. Households receive SNAP benefits on electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, which can be used only to purchase food (not paper products, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.) at an authorized retail location. (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2/6/2017)
In Massachusetts, 1 in 8 residents receives SNAP. And in FY2016, SNAP kept 141,000 of our state's residents out of poverty. More than 56% of SNAP households include are children. Almost 48% of recipients live in a household with an elderly or disabled family member. And almost 32% of recipients are in working families. (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2/6/2017)
One way they could do this is by turning SNAP into a block grant.
What happens if SNAP becomes a block grant? If SNAP were to become a block grant, each state would receive a predetermined amount to spend. States would determine who was eligible or they could decide that everyone gets lower benefits. And when the funding ran out (even if there was another economic recession), SNAP recipients would be left to fend for themselves until the next budget cycle.
Reach out to your friends and family in other states. Urge them to call their Senators and Representatives at (202) 224-3121. The message is simple: We want federal spending that benefits all Americans. NO cuts to SNAP and NO turning SNAP into a block grant program. If you are a resident of Massachusetts, call your legislators to thank them for working hard to protect SNAP. Click here for more information and a script for the call.
You can also sign up to become part of the Project Bread Action Team to receive policy updates and information on how you can take action.