© 2018 by Friends of Susan Boser

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Aug 7, 2018

SNAP work requirement misguided -- Indiana Gazette

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The Republican-led House recently passed a farm bill that subjected SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients to an unwarranted work requirement. This is a pointless burden for folks who are already struggling.

But that is what they did even though the data showed that a work requirement would affect an extremely small portion of the recipients, yet disenfranchise many who are unable to work. Would this save taxpayers money or would it cost additional money to enforce this new regulation?

There is a food crisis in rural areas in Pennsylvania, where poor adults and children suffer from food instability. This means they go to bed hungry. Poverty levels in rural areas are higher than in urban areas. This is due to fewer decent paying jobs. Some jobs on farms are seasonal, so willing workers may be unemployed off season.

Other issues that cause food instability in rural areas are that fresh produce and healthy options are not readily available. Local grocery stores are closing.

Folks may need to travel long distances for food and groceries that add time and transportation costs that exceed their budgets.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, over 1.8 million residents in Pennsylvania receive SNAP, a federal program that provides benefits to eligible low- or no-income individuals and families to purchase food.

Nationally, recipients are as follows: 40 percent children, 31 percent caregivers and aging adults, 11 percent adults with disabilities, 10 percent seniors, and 8 percent childless adults. Of the last group, 75 percent work during the year before and after receiving SNAP, and 25 percent work while receiving benefits. When recipients use their benefits locally, they help small-town grocery stores and farmers to remain in business.

So this Republican bill will hurt local farmers, local rural economies and SNAP recipients — and accomplish nothing.

If SNAP needs to be improved, we need elected officials who know how to solve problems not cause them. Susan Boser, a candidate for U.S. Congress in the 15th District, has the expertise and experience to change policies to help families in rural areas. Please join me and vote for Susan Boser in November.

Nancy Westburg

 

https://www.indianagazette.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/snap-work-requirement-misguided/article_86dde059-0142-5f69-bb2c-93d10469abcb.html