Over 1,400 Organizations Sign Letter Calling on Congress to Protect and Strengthen SNAP

WASHINGTON, — The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) and more than 1,400 national, state, and local organizations representing communities from across the country, are urging Congress to prioritize protecting and strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the upcoming Farm Bill and any other legislative vehicles moving forward.

The letter urges Congress to ensure that benefit adequacy, equitable access, and program administration, remain core tenets of SNAP. More must be done to ensure that SNAP benefits reach all those in need, encompassing households with children, older adults, veterans, people with disabilities, and residents of U.S. territories, so that all individuals have access to the nutrition they need to thrive. To safeguard SNAP, efforts to create a cost-neutral Thrifty Food Plan must be rejected. This includes opposing any proposed cuts, such as restricting future Thrifty Food Plan benefit adjustments, which could result in nearly $30 billion in cuts over 10 years. Such a cost-neutral plan would also negatively impact Summer EBT, the Emergency Food Assistance Program, and Puerto Rico’s Nutrition Assistance Program.

“SNAP is our nation’s first line of defense against hunger,” said Ellen Teller, chief government affairs officer for FRAC. “Any legislative vehicle, including the Farm Bill, that presents a critical opportunity to combat food insecurity cannot move forward by weakening our key defense against hunger — we must strengthen SNAP.”

Research underscores the economic and health benefits of SNAP. Every dollar invested in SNAP generates between $1.50 and $1.80 in economic activity during an economic downturn and supports local economies. In doing so, SNAP improves health outcomes, which results in reducing Medicaid costs associated with food insecurity.

Despite its strengths, SNAP benefits remain modest, averaging only $6.20 per person per day. At a time when living expenses are on the rise, it is imperative that Congress utilizes the power of the U.S. government to strengthen SNAP through several ways, including by improving benefit adequacy, permitting purchase of hot foods, simplifying the eligibility requirements, and protecting participants from benefit theft.

“FRAC and its network partners stand ready to oppose any legislation that would undermine SNAP’s proven effectiveness in helping 41 million people in America afford to put food on the table,” said Teller. “History has repeatedly shown that the only viable path to passing a Farm Bill is a strong bipartisan effort that involves all stakeholders engaged at the table.”

Read the joint letter.