August 20, 2020

Wasting Time... For Good

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The need to protect our nutrition safety net has never been more urgent than in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. While attacks on people facing hunger is nothing new, right now — at the height of a pandemic — the federal government is moving ahead with a rule change that will make it even harder for low-income families to keep food on their tables. Although nearly 80 million Americans are facing hunger right now, Congress has not addressed the urgent need to boost programs like SNAP, our country’s frontline defense against hunger.

Last fall, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) dubiously proposed eliminating Categorical Eligibility (Cat-El), an important flexibility option that allows states to provide SNAP benefits to families that have been determined to be eligible for other government assistance programs. Put another way, if you sprain your ankle and your doctor writes you a prescription for the pain caused by your injury, you don’t have to leave the office, make a new appointment, and come back on another day to see if you qualify for the crutches you will need in order to heal. Restricting Cat-El for SNAP will needlessly increase hunger in this country, particularly for working Americans who are already struggling to feed themselves and their families.

We need your help to delay this reprehensible proposal from being implemented!

How?

The federal government’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is required to offer “listening sessions” with every person who requests one regarding a proposed rule change. With just a little regulatory mischief — a half-hour meeting — you can help us gum up the works and slow this malicious rule change down to a standstill.

MAZON has created a toolkit (bit.ly/WastingTimeForGood) with everything you need to know to schedule and hold a meeting regarding this rule change. If you need any assistance or help with scheduling a meeting, please contact MAZON’s Policy Associate, Sammy Chavin at schavin@mazon.org.

There is a catch: while these meetings must happen for every rule being considered by OIRA, the agency does not have to make the window for scheduling meetings public. This means that if you want to get in on the action, you have to act fast! 

Join us in speaking truth to power and standing up for the most vulnerable among us. Join us in wasting time for good.