WASHINGTON—Last week, the administration announced it had finalized a proposed rule that would result in nearly 700,000 people losing access to food benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps. The proposal is one of three that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued that would collectively result in 3.7 million fewer people receiving critical food assistance on average each month. Additionally, millions more would see reductions in their monthly benefits, including nearly one million students who would lose automatic access to free or reduced-price school meals.
We oppose these rule changes as they will have far-reaching and painful impacts on the communities of color we serve and represent, specifically those already vulnerable low-income and working families that would be forced to make impossible decisions between putting food on their tables and paying for the other vital necessities of life. SNAP, our nation's most effective anti-hunger program, is also an important poverty alleviator. In 2015 alone, SNAP lifted an estimated 8.4 million people out of poverty. As a result of this rule, people of color will bear a disproportionate burden of lost benefits due to higher unemployment rates and ongoing structural racism of labor markets. The timing of these cuts, which will cause many families to go hungry during the holiday season, is especially cruel. In fact, these cuts were previously rejected by Congress during the 2018 Farm Bill reauthorization. The Racial Equity Anchor Organizations call on the Administration to reconsider its position on the rule changes and demand Congress take immediate action.
Advancement Project, National Office, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Faith In Action, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, Race Forward, and UnidosUS are a collaborative of nine leading national Racial Equity Anchor Organizations supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together we work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing, and ensure that all children, families and communities have genuine opportunities to reach their full potential.