Keep an Eye on SNAP (and DACA)
Isaiah 58:6-7 Is not this the fast that I choose:…Is it not to share your bread with the hungry…?
Matthew 25:35 …for I was hungry and you gave me food…
SNAP = Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Since 2008, this has been the name for what was formerly known as the Food Stamp program, designed to provide adequate nutrition, based on income eligibility, for persons living in poverty.
This year, the program is due to be re-authorized as part of the huge Farm Bill. The Justice Committee (a partnership between the Federated Church and Am HaYam Havurah) urges all to support legislation which does not diminish the effectiveness of this program for the poor.
At this writing (May 19), the U.S. House just defeated a Farm Bill which included major cutbacks in funding and stricter work requirements for SNAP. Advocates such as Bread for the World cited the possibility that 2 million persons would lose their eligibility. Many of these are single mothers and children. Stricter work or work training requirements are not helpful in reducing poverty as long as decent wages and benefits are lacking.
The Bill was defeated by maneuvering by conservative members who wanted to force a vote on punitive immigration measures first, along with those who opposed the changes to SNAP.
Justice Committee urges members of our congregations to be alert to: 1) Whether the Bill is returned for action by the House, and 2) The Senate version of a Farm Bill (with SNAP) which may be submitted soon. Encourage our legislators to oppose harsh changes to SNAP and maintain funding which truly supports women, children and families.
Also - if those from conservative and/or moderate factions of Congress succeed in forcing votes on immigration reform measures, please advocate for protections under DACA for all who have been living in the U.S. since brought by their parents.
Senator Edward J. Markey
Senator Elizabeth Warren
Representative William Keating
202-225-3111 (Cape office: 508-771-0666)