BEYOND THE NUMBERS
SNAP Works — Let's Keep It That Way
Policymakers are considering changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the nation's most effective anti-hunger program. The House is expected to reconsider a partisan farm bill next month that, with its SNAP provisions, would increase food insecurity and hardship for low-income families and make SNAP harder to administer, and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and ranking Democratic member Debbie Stabenow are likely to unveil their version of the farm bill soon. With all that in mind, we traveled to Wisconsin and heard from the executive director of a food bank, as well as people who use SNAP to afford a healthy diet, about the program’s importance.
First, Sherrie Tussler, the Executive Director of the Hunger Task Force, explains why food banks and charities can't fight hunger alone, especially when many workers don't make a living wage:
We also spoke with a veteran and home health worker who uses SNAP to make ends meet; a high school student whose family needs SNAP to make sure he has enough food and can concentrate on his studies; a SNAP recipient who uses it to supplement her income from three jobs; a disabled mom and grandmother who uses SNAP to buy healthy food while her daughter studies to be a paralegal; and a Marine Corps veteran who’s using SNAP while he looks for his next job.
These people all face different challenges, and they count on SNAP to put food on the table when their income falls short of a living wage or to provide a bridge between jobs. Their experiences remind us that SNAP works to help Americans make ends meet. Any changes from policymakers shouldn't increase hunger or hardship, or tamper with the parts of the program that work so well to fight hunger.