Minnesota hunger fighters are speaking out against proposed changes to the federal SNAP program.
The Food Group Executive Director Lori Thorp co-signed an Opinion piece published by the Star Tribune urging Minnesotans to comment on the new rules. If enacted, the rules would increase hunger in Minnesota by tightening eligibility requirements and curbing a provision that simplifies how SNAP is delivered.
The piece, “Changes to SNAP threaten to take food off Minnesota’s table,” details the potential effects of the new rules.
“Despite headlines proclaiming our country’s strong economy, wages have not kept up with costs of living,” the article says. “Increasing numbers of Minnesotans need food assistance, as too many of us don’t have access to the resources needed to weather a rough patch — like a lost job or illness.”
The article continues, “These rule changes mean more kids will go to bed hungry, more parents will stay up late worrying about where their next meal is coming from and Minnesota’s already-strained hunger relief network will be left to try to fill the gaps. “
SNAP by the Numbers
- Families making between 130% and 165% of the federal poverty level — or between about $27,000 and $34,000 a year for a family of three — currently qualify for $110 a month in food assistance through SNAP. (This small amount helps but is still not enough on its own to cover the grocery bill each month.)
- Despite the continued need, the new proposed limit means Minnesota families would no longer qualify for any assistance until they fell below the $27,000 threshold.
- SNAP infused an estimated $550 million in Minnesota’s economy in 2018.
- SNAP benefitted more than 3,500 stores and farmers markets who customers use SNAP benefits to help pay for groceries.
- The new rules could add up to $77 billion in health care costs nationwide.
- If enacted, the new rules could mean another 18,000 Minnesota kids will struggle to reach their full potentional. (Schools could lose funding for free breakfast and lunch for students in need.)
Read the full article here.
What You Can Do
Submit a comment and say how this would impact you, your neighbors, and the people you work with by Monday, Sept. 23.
This article was signed by: Allison O’Toole, CEO, Second Harvest Heartland; Virginia Merritt, executive director, Channel One Regional Food Bank; Colleen Moriarty, executive director, Hunger Solutions; Sue Estee, executive director, Second Harvest North Central Food Bank; Dr. Craig Samitt, CEO, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota; Vickie Speltz, president, Minnesota School Nutrition Association; Shaye Moris, executive director, Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank; Susie Novak, executive director, North Country Food Bank; Melissa Sobolik, president, Great Plains Food Bank; and Lori Thorp, executive director, The Food Group.