Help Us Stop Harmful Cuts to SNAP

Proposed Changes to SNAP Threaten Food Access for Millions of Working Families

The USDA has proposed a new rule aimed at cutting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP – formerly food stamps) by further restricting who is eligible for food assistance.

The proposed cuts would change a policy that currently allow states to eliminate asset tests and use a higher income test to determine who can receive SNAP. This policy, known as “Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility” or “Cat El” for short, makes much-needed food assistance accessible to more working households burdened by significant expenses for shelter and childcare.

As written, the proposed rule would eliminate SNAP benefits for 3.1 million individuals, take free school meals away from the 500,000 children in those families, and punish people with even meager savings.

Cat El policies have been in place for more than two decades. They incentivize responsible saving and acknowledge that families need certain assets – like a reliable vehicle – to become and remain financially stable. This is precisely why Congress rejected efforts to cut Cat El in the past, including its consideration of 2005 budget reconciliation and the 2018 Farm Bill.

People from all walks of life rely on SNAP food assistance to afford groceries, and kids rely on school meals to learn and thrive in the classroom. Without these programs, they may go hungry. The St. Louis Area Foodbank is committed to a vision of our region where no one goes to bed hungry, so we’re taking action. As part of the Feeding America network of 200 food banks serving every county in this country, we are raising our voice in opposition to this rule, and we hope you’ll join us.

The best way for you to stand up against this harmful rule is to provide a comment and share with the Administration why you oppose their rule. Every unique comment will be read and considered, so we need as many people as possible to speak up today. Please, add your comment right here, right now while you’re thinking about it.

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By USDA’s own estimates, the proposed rule would cut SNAP benefits over five years by $10.543 billion, while increasing SNAP administrative costs by $2.314 billion. Furthermore, USDA concedes, “The proposed rule may also negatively impact food security and reduce the savings rates among those individuals who do not meet the income and resource eligibility requirements for SNAP or the substantial and ongoing requirements for expanded categorical eligibility.”


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Interested in learning more about Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility? Get more helpful details and background here.

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