***For Immediate Release***
June 21, 2018
Contact, Jeff Sheldon
Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed
Office: (402) 438-8853
Cell: (402) 840-7289
SNAP cuts in House Farm Bill will punish Nebraskans struggling with hunger
Congressmen’s vote today will take food off the table for seniors, children, and those between jobs
LINCOLN — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 2, it’s version of the Farm Bill, which included new, punishing barriers to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), our nation’s most-essential food assistance initiative that helps 1 in 11 Nebraskans afford the meals they need.
Nebraska Appleseed Economic Justice Director James Goddard said today’s vote is a dangerous threat to Nebraska families who already are struggling to afford essential meals.
“Today’s vote will make it even harder for thousands of Nebraska families, children, seniors, and those living with a disability to get the meals they need,” Goddard said. “The new restrictions on SNAP in the Farm Bill won’t help anyone find work faster, they will just punish people who already are facing hunger by taking food off their table.
“We already see hard-working Nebraskans who face a benefits cliff where they can not take a small raise or new job because they would lose more in SNAP. These new changes will only ensure this harmful cliff stays in place, and barriers will remain to people moving ahead.
“There are Nebraskans in every community who would not be able to afford meals without SNAP. Families caring for children or older relatives and people whose health challenges or age don’t allow them to work full-time. We don’t believe in allowing any of our neighbors to go hungry, and we strongly hope the final version of the Farm Bill will reflect the protections in the Senate’s version so that every Nebraskan can get the meals they need.”
Facts about SNAP in Nebraska:
- 176,000 Nebraskans receive essential food assistance from SNAP.
- 82 percent of Nebraskans who receive SNAP are at or below the Federal Poverty Level (about $20,780 per year for a family of three) before deductions.
- More than 75 percent of Nebraska’s SNAP households include children, 27 percent are in families which have people with disabilities, and more than 53 percent are in households with one employed member.
- Nebraskans participating in SNAP are most commonly in service, office or production jobs. Most are paid hourly wages far below the state average.
- SNAP helps families in every part of Nebraska. 9.2 percent of Nebraskans who live in small towns receive SNAP, as well as 7.3 percent of people who live in rural areas, and 9.4 percent of people who live in one of Nebraska’s metro areas.
- Research by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows SNAP has lifted 34,000 Nebraskans out of poverty each year, making it one of our country’s most-effective poverty-fighting tools.
- Every increase of $1.00 in SNAP spending increases real GDP by $1.73. SNAP dollars go directly to Nebraska’s local grocery stores and markets, and the current structure of SNAP makes it flexible to allow states to respond to unpredictable obstacles like natural disasters or a recession.
Learn more at www.neappleseed.org/FarmBill
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