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Apr 7, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Alma S. Adams (NC-12) announced the introduction of the Closing the Meal Gap Act of 2017.

“In Mecklenburg County alone, over 158,000 people participate in the SNAP program and, too often, SNAP benefits are just not enough for those who struggle to put food on the table,” said Congresswoman Adams.  “The Closing the Meal Gap Act will strengthen the SNAP program for families, adults looking for work, seniors and the disabled.”

Specifically The Closing the Meal Gap Act of 2017 would:

  • Permanently authorize a standard medical deduction in every state for seniors and disabled individuals applying for SNAP benefits.
  • Incorporate the Low-Cost Food Plan into the SNAP formula to take into account how much working people, including SNAP recipients, spend on food.
  • Eliminate the cap on the Excess Shelter Deduction in the SNAP formula to take into account the cost of living for SNAP recipients in areas with high rent and utilities.
  • Raise the minimum SNAP benefit from $16 to $25 per month.
  • Allow Able-Bodied Adults to be exempt from SNAP work requirements if their state cannot provide them with a slot in a SNAP Employment and Training Program (also known as SNAP E&T).

 The Closing the Meal Gap Act has been endorsed by Feeding America, the Food Research and Action Center, and Mazon.

In May, 2015 Congresswoman Adams launched the Adams Hunger Initiative to raise awareness of the high level of food insecurity in the 12th District.  The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that over 158,000 people in Mecklenburg County participate in the SNAP program.  According to Feeding America, over 165,000 people in the Mecklenburg County struggle with food insecurity. Following today’s press conference, Congresswoman Adams will convene a roundtable to discuss food insecurity and hunger with local stakeholders.

The Closing the Meal Gap Act is cosponsored by Representatives James McGovern (MA-2), Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), Dwight Evans (PA-2), Stacy Plaskett (VI-At Large), Suzan DelBene (WA-1), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large), Marcy Kaptur (OH-9), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Rick Larsen (WA-2), Nydia Velazquez (NY-7), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), David Cicilline (RI-1),Gwen Moore (WI-4), John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13), Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1), Theodore Deutch (FL-22), Raul Grijalva (AZ-3), Gregory Meeks (NY-5), Donald Norcross (NJ-1), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), G.K. Butterfield (NC-1), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Bobby Rush (IL-1), Cedric Richmond (LA-2), Steve Cohen (TN-9), Yvette Clark (NY-9), John Lewis (GA-5), Pramila Jayapal (WA-7), James Langevin (RI-2), Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-1), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40),  Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8), Mark Takano (CA-41), Jose Serrano (NY 15, Al Lawson, Jr. (FL-5)Earl Blumenauer (OR-3).