Many Americans who live with hunger aren’t seen by those of us free from want. Having taught in high-needs schools for six years, I learned to spot the child overly anxious to get into the lunch line. Those were also the kids who all too often had trouble in class or were out sick a lot.
Congress will soon begin work on the latest Farm Bill. SNAP, formerly Food Stamps, is the largest part of the Farm Bill. I like that. Farming is about feeding people and SNAP is our primary tool to help those who can’t afford enough to eat. SNAP provides the vast majority of food assistance to low-income families and workers. (Private charities provide only 5 percent of all food assistance in the U.S.) These are the cashiers, health aides, crossing guards, house cleaners, and other low-wage earners around us.
SNAP is one of our most effective anti-poverty programs, yet there are House leaders threatening to expand SNAP work requirements to families with children and older Americans, despite the fact that SNAP recipients who can work already do. Congress may also shorten time periods for people to find work regardless of the local employment situation and deny them food assistance for months or years.
Please contact Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines, and Rep. Greg Gianforte. Remind them that decisions made in Washington deeply affect working families and have a profound impact on children in Montana and the nation. Urge them to strengthen and expand SNAP, thereby providing healthful food for low-income adults and hungry children, and oppose any efforts to cut, restructure, or restrict the program.