Iowans could go hungry under this federal rule change

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Iowans could go hungry under this federal rule change


Proposed changes in a key SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) rule would take away basic food assistance from more than 3 million people nationwide. Working families with children, seniors and individuals with disabilities would suffer the most from this proposal unveiled last month by the Trump Administration.

This rule change would dramatically restrict an effective SNAP policy called broad-based categorical eligibility. Iowa is one of 40 states that use this option to raise SNAP income eligibility so that low-income working families—many of whom face costly housing and child care expenses—can afford adequate food.

If implemented, the rule change would lower Iowa’s maximum eligibility level for SNAP—which goes by the name Food Assistance in our state—from 160 percent of the federal poverty level down to 130 percent. That’s about $27,000 per year for a family of three, far below what it takes for a family to make ends meet.  

In addition, the children from families who would lose their SNAP benefits under the proposed rule would also lose access to free school lunches and breakfasts. 

SNAP is the nation's most effective anti-hunger program, helping 1 in 9 Iowans—over 70 percent of whom are in families with children—put food on the table. Taking away access to basic food security will only multiply challenges facing low-income Iowans.

This rule change is not a done deal. Administration officials are required to take public comments into account before finalizing the rule, and critical public comments have been successful in derailing or reducing the damage of other harsh proposed rule changes.

You can tell the White House why SNAP is important to you and why this stricter rule would be harmful by commenting here.

08/15/2019 2:30 PM |Add a comment
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