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Action Now -- Protect SNAP

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SNAP is a lifeline for many families across the state.

Nearly 675,000 people in Massachusetts lack reliable access to good food. At Project Bread, we hear their voices loud and clear—and connect them with the healthy meals they deserve.

We do this by raising funds through the Walk for Hunger and investing in diverse solutions that lift up communities.

We also work tirelessly to secure our federal nutrition programsthe cornerstone of our national safety netwhich provide consistent, healthy and non-stigmatizing meals for millions of children, seniors and families every day. Today, you can be an advocate for healthy food for all by helping to protect SNAP—TAKE ACTION.


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SNAP (formerly food stamps) – Protecting a Lifeline for Families

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is currently an entitlement program. This means that everyone who qualifies for the program, receives benefits. After unemployment benefits, it is the most responsive federal safety net.  It is designed to expand when the economy is struggling. And in better economic times – like now – fewer households are enrolled in SNAP as more adults go back to work. 

Currently, SNAP provides benefits according to need. 

Very poor households receive more SNAP benefits than households with income closer to the poverty line since they need more help affording an adequate diet. Households receive SNAP benefits on electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, which only can be used only to purchase food (not paper products, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.) at an authorized retail location.  (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2/6/2017)

ABAWD’s – Vulnerable Adults

“Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents” are individuals between the ages of 18-49 and have been classified as eligible to work.  Therefore, they are subject to strict time limits for SNAP benefits for SNAP – 90 days total over a 3 year period. The ABAWD classification, however, covers a wide range of circumstances, including single parents with children over the age of 18; college students; veterans; children who have aged out of the foster system (i.e. 19 and 20 year olds); homeless people struggling to find employment; and persons with undiagnosed disabilities.

Project Bread believes that these vulnerable adults are worthy of being assisted. They should continue to receive SNAP benefits while they work to stabilize their housing and employment situations.

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In Massachusetts, 1 in 9 residents receives SNAP. And in FY2016, SNAP kept 141,000 of our state’s residents out of poverty. More than 56% of SNAP recipients are children.  Almost 48% of recipients live in a household with an elderly or disabled family member. And almost 32% of recipients are in working families. (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2/6/2017)

Right now, Congress is threatening to turn SNAP into a block grant.

What does that mean? If SNAP were to become a block grant, each state would receive a pre-determined amount to spend. States would determine who was eligible or they could decide that everyone gets lower benefits. And when the funding ran out (even if there was another economic recession), SNAP recipients would be left to fend for themselves until the next budget cycle.

In other words, block grants aren’t grants – they are cuts.


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Thank your Congressional leaders for ensuring that SNAP remains fully funded. Send an email directly to Massachusetts Senators and Representatives using the form below.


Recipients

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Message

Thank You for Protecting SNAP

To [Decision Maker],

Project Bread supports community food programs, schools, community health centers, farmer's markets, and other programs that protect the individual and strengthen our community food security.

I recognize that our local food resources are only part of the solution to hunger in the state. SNAP reaches the highest number of people who are food insecure and is the most responsive and comprehensive nutrition safety-net government or charity-supported. Thank you for working tirelessly to ensure that SNAP does NOT become a block grant and instead retains the flexibility to serve our most vulnerable citizens children, elderly, those with disabilities, and working poor where and when they need it, regardless of our country's economic state. As you know, it has never been more important to align our current understanding of hunger with the solutions that address it as a public health problem.

Thank you for your commitment to ending hunger in Massachusetts.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]