Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Friend of the Institute,

The House Committee on Agriculture passed a bill that will affect how federal hunger-fighting operates for years to come. It introduces HUGE cuts to important programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) which last year helped feed 672,000 Hoosiers. 

Cuts will come partly from a change in work requirements for segments of the SNAP population. Cuts are unacceptable. Your member of Congress needs to hear from you today: Stop this bill now.

Most of the people on benefits who can work, are working. Due to the nature of low wage work, work requirements put beneficiaries in a difficult position. If you can get enough hours to meet the work requirements, you may make just enough money to lose benefits, but not enough to support your family; on the flip side, not meeting them leads to the total loss of the benefit. 

Programs like SNAP and Medicaid should not be subject to work requirements; food and adequate health care are basic necessities that should be available to our citizens when they fall on hard times or have barriers to employment.

Better ways to support work include:
  • Increasing benefits and reducing unintended benefit cliffs
  • Providing voluntary and meaningful job readiness services
  • Providing voluntary and meaningful adult basic education, skills training/industry credentials, and/or higher education.

Warm regards,

Jessica Fraser
Executive Director, Indiana Institute for Working Families

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