May 2018

The Proposed Farm Bill Puts the Food Security of Connecticut’s Children and Families at Risk

Karen Siegel

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—formerly Food Stamps—provides low-income households with a monthly benefit that is redeemable only for food. Congress may soon vote on proposed changes to SNAP in the Farm Bill. These changes would increase food insecurity and hardship for children in low-income families.

SNAP in Connecticut

  • In 2017, SNAP reached 410,000 or 1 in 9 residents of Connecticut
  • Over 57% of the state’s SNAP participants are in families with children
  • More than 40% of the state’s recipients are in working families
  • The average benefit is $1.45/person/meal or $133/person/month
  • SNAP benefits the local economy with 2,600 participating retailers in Connecticut

The modest SNAP benefits help families provide adequate nutrition for children and alleviate some of the stress of choosing which bills to pay on a limited income.

Impact of Proposed Farm Bill

  • Requires monthly proof of working at least 20 hours and bans those without such proof from receiving benefits for 12-36 months. Parents whose hours are cut or who stay home to care for a sick child or attend to their own illness may be unable to meet that month’s work quota. For more, see our testimony about why work requirements cause working parents to lose services.
  • Increases paperwork to document each family’s expenses, work hours, and assets, which will result in increased administrative costs and create barriers to access for busy parents.
  • Recreates a “benefit cliff” for families whose earnings rise minimally.
  • Fails to provide adequate funding for work supports that the bill requires.
  • Requires single parents to participate in the federal child support enforcement program. This is expensive to the state, unlikely to generate support, and risks exposing families to an abusive estranged parent.

Take Action: Call to thank your Connecticut federal representatives for rejecting changes that will harm the health and well-being of children and families.

Find your representatives and their contact info here.

 

Issue Areas:
Child Welfare, Family Economic Security