MAZON Rebukes Trump Administration’s Third Sneak Attack on SNAP

October 3, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CA (October 3, 2019)—In response to the third and most recent administrative attack this year on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger rebuked the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposal to “modernize” SNAP as a thinly-veiled guise to ram through the Trump Administration’s dangerous and ideological regulatory agenda.

“In this latest proposal to slash food stamp benefits, the Administration has launched yet another poisonous shot across the bow targeting America’s most vulnerable,” said Abby J. Leibman, MAZON’s President & CEO. “This attempt to restrict state flexibility is being promoted as a way to “streamline” SNAP benefit calculations, but in reality, it will only increase hunger and hardship for millions of low-income families. It is the latest in a string of administrative attacks strategically proposed to cut urgently-needed assistance for people who struggle to feed themselves and their families.”

The new plan, announced by USDA on Tuesday, would result in SNAP benefits being cut by $4.5 billion over 5 years. An estimated 20% of low-income households that use SNAP will lose $30 each month that they could have used to buy groceries.

“This proposed rule change takes us in exactly the wrong direction at a time when we should all be doing more to ensure that those who struggle to put food on the table receive the help they so desperately need. Especially considering that USDA’s motto is ‘Do Good and Feed Everyone,’ we regard this latest attempt to restrict access as hopelessly out of touch and vapidly immoral.”

“Announcing such a cruel policy as the Jewish community enters its holiest time of year dramatically reminds us of the failure of this Administration to act with common decency, let alone higher values,” Leibman continued. “As we approach Yom Kippur, we recommit to honoring the highest commandments of our faith and our collective responsibility to take care of the most vulnerable among us. We will continue to fight for the millions of Americans who struggle with hunger every day, skipping meals not out of choice but due to their circumstances.”

This proposed rule change comes days after the end of the public comment period for the Trump administration’s proposal to eliminate Categorical Eligibility in SNAP—a move that would kick 3.1 million people off food stamps and cause over 500,000 children to lose eligibility for free school meals.