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Congresswoman Adams Leads Group Of 129 House Democrats In Fight To Protect Snap For Those In Need

Mar 14, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC — Congresswomen Alma Adams (NC-12) and Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) led a group of 129 Members of the House of Representatives in calling on House leadership to protect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which lifts millions of Americans out of poverty. The letter comes shortly after Adams and DeLauro joined their House Democratic colleagues in denouncing Speaker Ryan’s plans to address poverty through a newly formed, Republican task force.

"There has been much talk about changing the SNAP structure and turning the funds over to governors and state legislators as a block grant. For the 45 million Americans relying on the SNAP program, we urge you to reject this proposal,” Members wrote in the letter. “Shifting this program to a block grant, and limiting states to a set amount of funding, means that states would be faced with impossible choices as need increased: Do they cut benefits, or do they place children and seniors on waiting lists for food assistance? Doing so would roll back a generation of progress against very deep hunger, and destroy a bipartisan compact that has developed and sustained a strong and effective national nutrition safety net.

“We firmly agree with the President, who said, ‘Food stamp recipients did not cause the financial crisis; recklessness on Wall Street did.’  Instead of attacking the SNAP program, the House budget should focus on economic growth and job creation, including strengthening the SNAP program so that participants are better positioned to take advantage of education and work opportunities as the economy improves.

“If SNAP is block granted, many millions of seniors, people with disabilities, children, struggling parents – working and unemployed – and others will suffer. Our country will also see more hunger and poverty, worse health and educational outcomes, and higher health costs. The nation as a whole will be weaker – morally, economically, and fiscally. Please stand with us in ensuring that the federal budget would not harm low-income households, increase hunger, and dilute SNAP’s strengths,” the letter concludes.

For more than four decades, SNAP has been a fundamental safeguard for the poorest and hungriest people in the nation. Deemed “a government reform that worked” by the National Journal, SNAP serves as the nation’s first line of defense against hunger. In 2014 alone, the program helped lift 4.7 million Americans out of poverty, including 2.1 million children.

Over the past decade, Mecklenburg County and Guilford County have consistently ranked as the top two counties with SNAP participants in North Carolina.  In 2012, Mecklenburg County had 158,452 participants and Guilford County had 100,505 participants. In North Carolina, more than 1.8 million people are food insecure. Overall, North Carolina’s 12th District is first in the state and ninth in the country for hunger. Congresswoman Adams launched the ‘Adams Hunger Initiative’ in May 2015, shortly after a report released by the Food Research and Action Center, listed High Point and Greensboro as first in the nation for food hardship.

The full text of the letter is attached. PDF iconSNAP Letter (3-10-2016) (2).pdf