Show SNAP Supports Work
Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for
Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, circulated the following OpEd posted TODAY by Huffington
Everywhere I go, I hear stories of seniors,
veterans, and the working poor who use the Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This includes returned servicemen and
women who spent holidays away from their families, missing major milestones
while abroad in service to their country; previous generations who have worked
hard to build our American infrastructure brick by brick; and even people
working in the service industry across the nation.
SNAP serves 900,000 veterans and nearly
3.8 million elderly adults each and every month. While 60 percent of SNAP
recipients are not required to work, either because they are children, elderly,
or disabled, according to the Center on Budget
and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the vast majority of adults who are able and
expected to work, want to work and do so.
These people all serve
their country and its citizens in some capacity. They work hard to keep us safe
and secure, to build a strong, sustainable economy, to put food on the table
for their families. America is a better country for their service.
Historically, about 80% of the
funds authorized by the Farm Bill go to the SNAP food stamp and other nutrition
assurance program. About 15% of the funds are designated for farm commodity
subsidies and crop insurance, with the rest going to food safety, conservation,
rural development, renewable energy and other farm programs.
The 2013 Farm Bill may not contain funding for the SNAP
program. Congress has been deliberating over passage of the Farm Bill with and without
SNAP funding and passage of a stand-alone SNAP funding bill later in 2013, possibly
with billions in SNAP cuts.
program’s success in meeting this core goal has been well documented. Less well
understood is the fact that the program has become quite effective in
supporting work and that its performance in this area has improved
substantially in recent years.
data also indicate that SNAP receipt does not create work disincentives. The
overwhelming majority of non-disabled, working-age households that start
receiving SNAP do not stop working. In the mid-2000s, only 4 percent of SNAP
households that worked in the year before starting to receive SNAP did not work
in the following year.
success in supporting work is not an accident. Through its basic structure and
program rules, SNAP is designed to support work. It helps working households
with low-incomes afford adequate nutrition during economic downturns. In
addition, its performance in serving working families has improved in recent
years, even during the recent deep recession and lagging economic recovery.
Efforts at the federal, state, and local level to strengthen SNAP for working
families have produced results.
further improvements could be made. Despite hitting record high participation
rates among eligible working households, one in three SNAP-eligible households
with earnings fails to receive the help that is available in purchasing
groceries. In addition, as the economy improves, states will be required to
reinstate the program’s severe three-month time limit for unemployed childless
adults — and most states will do so without producing an adequate number of
work program slots for these adults — weakening the program’s ability to reach
all otherwise eligible low- income households who are willing to work.
Writer and Communication Specialist, Feeding America, Huffington Post
Relationship Between SNAP and Work Among Low-Income Households, Center on
Budget and Policy Priorities.
is the nation's fourth largest charity, according to Forbes Magazine.
on Budget and Policy Priorities is a non-partisan research and policy
institute, which works at the federal and state levels on fiscal policy and
public programs that affect low- and moderate-income families and individuals.
Labels: California Ag News, California Ag Today, Data Show SNAP Supports Work, Farm Bill and SNAP, SNAP Benefits Those in Need