CHN: Taking food away from very poor people does not promote work. It simply makes them hungrier.


December 4, 2019

Editor’s note: Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director of the Coalition on Human Needs, issued the following statement Wednesday in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement that it plans to cut SNAP benefits for hundreds of thousands of Americans:

“Taking food away from very poor people does not promote work. It simply compounds their hardships. The Trump Administration today ignored the will of Congress, the judgment of states, more than 100,000 concerned comments, and its own estimate of the harmful impact on close to 700,000 people. It will time-limit food assistance to only three months every three years if people are unable to get steady part-time work. People now receiving very modest SNAP benefits (averaging a little over $160 per month) will lose this assistance, despite having incomes of less than $2,200 a year, according to Feeding America. Many states have waived that harsh limit because they judged there were insufficient jobs available to this impoverished group. The Trump Administration has decided to insist that states impose the time limit in most areas.

“The final rule pays no attention to the fact that close to two-thirds of the individuals now threatened with loss of assistance have either worked but not enough steady hours, have health problems but have not qualified for disability aid, or are providing care to someone not officially a dependent. Nor does it recognize that within geographic areas with low overall unemployment, hiring discrimination contributes to far higher unemployment rates among African Americans. The rule provides no funding for job training or other work supports. It will just take away nearly $5.5 billion in food from very poor people over the next 5 years.”

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