Strengthen and Protect Our Nation’s First Line of Defense Against Hunger
It is critically important that your Senators and House Members hear a roar from constituents opposing proposals to cap or reduce funding, restrict eligibility or reduce benefits in SNAP – and that efforts should be made to strengthen, not weaken, the program.
SNAP Message: Every communication to your Members of Congress and the media should contain these three words: strengthen, protect, SNAP.
Members of Congress must oppose any proposals that would change SNAP’s structure or reduce funding, restrict eligibility or reduce benefits (including limiting the “Heat and Eat” option states have). Members should also support SNAP improvements, including the President’s proposal to restore the cut in the ARRA boost. SNAP works – it is responding to increased need and must be strengthened, not weakened, in order to continue to provide critically-needed nutrition assistance.
Don't forget to share your voice online by tweeting and using your Facebook status update. Be sure to tag us in your messages and include the hashtag #SNAPworks.
SNAP Talking Points:
• SNAP works. Weakening SNAP would lead to more hunger and food insecurity, worse health and educational outcomes, and higher health costs.
• Increasing SNAP benefits reduce hunger. USDA researchers found that the boost to SNAP benefits included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) improved the food security of low-income households.
• SNAP is responsive in times of need. SNAP’s responsiveness to unemployment proved it to be one of the most effective safety net programs during the recent recession, providing families with a stable source of food.
• SNAP helps the most vulnerable. The average beneficiary household has an income of only 57 percent of the federal poverty guideline; and 84 percent of all benefits go to households with a child, senior, or disabled person.
• SNAP lifts people out of poverty. SNAP lifted 3.9 million Americans above the poverty line in 2010, including 1.7 million children and 280,000 seniors.
• SNAP has – for decades – enjoyed bipartisan support. Recent polling data from FRAC found that 77 percent of voters said that cutting SNAP would be the wrong way to reduce government spending. Every bipartisan deficit group in 2010-2011 has insulated it from cuts, including the Simpson-Bowles and Domenici-Rivlin commissions; the Gang of Six; and the August 2011 deficit agreement. In his FY2012 and FY2013 budgets the President has included proposals to strengthen the program.