Members of the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus recently urged the Trump administration
and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reject a proposed rule that would jeopardize Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for 3 million Americans, including an estimated 135,500 Ohioans
. It also threatens access to free school lunches for more than 500,000 children across the U.S.
“The president believes in kicking the ladder out from underneath families lifting themselves out of poverty,” said state Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), who participated in a press conference call on Thursday with anti-hunger advocates who criticized the proposed rule. “This policy will not move more Ohioans toward self-sufficiency; it’s actually a recipe for growing more poverty and insecurity. If enacted, we’ll see a devastating ripple effect across Ohio, and our state leaders must be a stopgap to keep more children and families from going hungry.”
The proposed rule would eliminate “broad-based categorical eligibility” status, which helps states identify SNAP-eligible households by linking them to those already receiving any government assistance, even though households must still provide documentation to be eligible for SNAP. It also allows states to raise SNAP asset caps so that families lifting themselves out of poverty are not punished for saving money. This designation was recently debated in Congress and upheld in the 2018 Farm Bill.
“Too many Americans already have to make the heart-wrenching decision – every single day – between buying food, paying bills and covering the cost of prescriptions,” Senate Democrats wrote in their public comment on the rule
. “This rule would punish seniors and people with disabilities for trying to save money, strip school lunches from hungry children and force 3 million more Americans into this impossible challenge.”
Others who would like to submit comment on this proposed rule
can do so by September 23.
For a copy of the Senate Democrats’ comment, click here