Columbus, OH— Advocates for small towns and rural communities are demanding that U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary, Sonny Perdue stop the implementation of the recently announced changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) canceling work-requirement waivers for hundreds of thousands of participants.
Feeding America states that, "SNAP provides families with their basic nutritional needs to get them through temporary hard times. It helps people get back on their feet and on the road to a better life.”
According to Lisa Pruitt, a scholar at the University of California-Davis, “Work requirements are disproportionately harmful in rural communities because of a dearth of public transportation, lack of access to child care where needed and very few available jobs.”
In less than a week since the changes were announced, over 76,000 people have signed a petition circulated by RuralOrganizing.org stating that, “USDA's newly-proposed rules to SNAP will cut food stamp benefits for hundreds of thousands of hungry people. We demand that you stop these proposed changes before they take effect on April 1, 2020.”
The following is a statement from Liz Shaw, President of Indivisible Appalachian Ohio.
Hunger is a serious issue in Appalachian Ohio, and food pantries often struggle to keep up with the demand. The organization I lead, Indivisible Appalachian Ohio, has spent thousands of dollars this year sponsoring the food bank's emergency mobile food pantry. We are on the front line hearing desperate stories of catastrophic illness, death of the family's breadwinner, housing displaced relatives, and job layoffs. This ill-advised policy will greatly increase the human suffering already in our region.
The following is a statement from Matthew Hildreth, Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.org.
Instead of kicking job seekers off of SNAP, President Trump should focus on keeping his promise of bringing jobs to small towns and rural communities.
The mission of RuralOrganizing.org is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.