The Trump Administration has once again showed that it is out of touch with the conditions affecting household’s living in poverty. In a proposed rule, the administration plans to end state’s ability to use “broad based categorical eligibility” and cut 3 million people off of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Under current law “broad based categorical eligibility” allows states to slightly adjust the SNAP income limit to 200% if they are receiving other federal benefits. Even then, those households are subject to the net income test which means that after expenses such as rent, and childcare they are living at or below 100% of the federal poverty level.
1 in 8 Americans and 1 in 6 children are food insecure, which means that they struggle to put food on the table. Many of these children receive free school lunch because their families receive SNAP. By taking away SNAP eligibility, the administration is making it more difficult for thousands of low-income children to receive food at school. This proposed rule does not fix “loopholes.” It exacerbates an already unacceptable rate of hunger in the United States.
The new rule will also force states to implement the asset limits for SNAP applications. The asset limit tests costs more than it saves, and makes it more complicated for households to stay on SNAP. Re-imposing the asset test will also force families to dissolve their savings before qualifying, leading them to stay in poverty for longer.
Sonny Perdue, the Agriculture Secretary touts the savings the Country will create, but does so by making it more difficult for Americans to lead healthy, self-sufficient lives.
Please stay tuned to see how you can help by signing up for action alerts from California Food Policy Advocates here.