Mayors from across the US came together today to sign a letter condemning Trump’s proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program which would potentially disqualify 3 million people from receiving food stamps.
According to the letter, the changes to SNAP would harm the most vulnerable populations in the U.S.: children, seniors, and people with disabilities. The predominately Democratic mayors sent the letter to Jessica Shahin, an administrator at SNAP, decrying what they perceive to be a move by Trump to shift people off of welfare programs. “Our nation cannot remain globally competitive if our children do not have enough to eat; if our citizens do not have access to affordable health care; if housing and other basic needs are priced out of reach; and if adults who are willing and able to work cannot find jobs that will help them support their families,” the mayors stated in the letter.
The letter also discusses the how the new policy will have a far-reaching negative effect on their local economies claiming that SNAP recipients spend more and therefore are responsible for a “multiplier effect” that helps enable economic growth and assists in creating more jobs.
“This proposal will put children’s health and development at risk by removing their access to healthy school meals; and harm our economy by reducing the amount of SNAP dollars available to spur regional and local economic activity,” said the mayors.
The changes to the program will work to close a “loophole” that allows states to provide benefits to those whose savings and assets the Trump administration claim should make them ineligible for food stamps. Since the rule was posted online over 4,000 people have contributed their thoughts on the issue with numerous commenters expressing their outrage at the proposed rule calling it “horrifying” and saying the policymakers “should be ashamed of yourselves if you believe it is ok to make children go hungry for ANY reason”.
Sources: NPR 8/22/19; NPR 7/23/19; Feminist Newswire 3/5/19