Protect SNAP

White House proposal threatens SNAP assistance to children, families, elderly

The New Jersey Federation of Food Banks and Hunger Free New Jersey strongly oppose the Trump Administration’s proposed changes to SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) which, if implemented, would take away food assistance from an estimated 3.1 million people nationally–about 68,000 in New Jersey alone. The proposed rule change would severely restrict Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility (Cat El), removing thousands of New Jersey’s children from the free school meals program and adding undue burden to working families, seniors, and people with disabilities who are already struggling to put food on the table.

We need your help defeating this harmful policy change.

Feeding America, the national network of food banks, is collecting comments opposing this rule. Take a stand now against hunger in our community to protect SNAP and ensure that our New Jersey neighbors have access to the food they need.

What is SNAP, and why is it important?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest nutrition assistance program in the country and serves as a front-line defense against hunger, providing critical support to help families make ends meet. In New Jersey, nearly 690,000 people, including about 319,000 children, receive this monthly assistance. Without SNAP, families, seniors, and others will struggle to feed themselves and their children.

What you can say in your comment

The more people who submit a comment opposing the proposed policy change, the greater our chance of defeating it and safeguarding food assistance for families in need. The Community FoodBank of New Jersey believes that the Administration must rescind the rule and instead work to increase SNAP participation so New Jersey families can focus more on getting back on their feet instead of worrying how they will put food on the table.

Follow this link to submit your comment. Here are some talking points to get you started, but be sure to use your own words.

The proposed rule:

  • Takes SNAP benefits away from our MOST vulnerable communities. An estimated 68,000 New Jersey residents, including low-income working families, seniors, and people with disabilities, will lose their SNAP benefits.
  • Takes away free school meals from our MOST vulnerable children. An estimated 26,000 New Jersey children will lose their free school meals, often their only reliable source of food for the week. Free school meals are a vital support that nourish our children and prepare them to learn.
  • Cuts support for New Jersey’s low-income, working families who face higher costs of living. Cat El allows low-income families to work AND be eligible for food assistance, providing vital support that helps New Jersey families survive where there are higher childcare and housing costs.
  • Risks a family’s ability to save. Households saving to invest in their future or avoid a financial crisis, including 15,000 seniors and disabled people, would lose their food assistance. New Jersey families should not be denied food because they have some savings.
  • Puts pressure on hunger-relief organizations. New Jersey food banks do not have the capacity to shoulder the burden of serving an additional 68,000 New Jersey residents who would find themselves in need of our assistance. In addition, private charity cannot compensate for the breadth of the impact of cuts to SNAP.
  • Leaves New Jersey less prepared for natural disasters and economic downturns. New Jersey will be less prepared to cushion the blow for households whose economic circumstances are suddenly undermined by disasters like Superstorm Sandy or the Great Recession.

Hear from our SNAP Outreach Team

The FoodBank’s SNAP Outreach team shares stories of people who may be affected by the proposed change:

“When I went to the pantry, there was an elderly man who stated that he needed to apply but declined to do so, saying that ‘This morning, I was watching the news, and they said that they were going to cut the food stamp program.’ I tried to explain to him that the whole program will not be cut off and that the food stamp program is an entitlement and not welfare; however, he was very upset and discouraged and did not want to do it. He walked away very disappointed.”

“Today, I was assisting an individual who is only receiving $16 per month in SNAP benefits. He came in to do a re-certification and mentioned that he saw the news about SNAP benefits being cut. I explained to him that it might be a possibility, and he said to me, ‘I know I only receive $16 per month, but this amount helps me a lot. I am a senior citizen and a veteran. It’s not fair what they are doing.’ I was very sad to hear this.”

“Today at a WIC Center in Elizabeth, a woman came in for her re-certification assistance. She is part of a family of four and expressed that she was very concerned and confused about the stories in the news that SNAP funds may be cut or reduced. Holding back tears, she explained that her husband is the only one working. Her son has a medical condition, and she takes care of him. His treatment requires close monitoring and sometimes hospitalization. Without SNAP assistance, they would not have food to eat. I encouraged her to proceed with the re-certification. She said, ‘I have hope that my family will continue receiving benefits.'”