We have a shared commitment in our country that no one should ever go hungry, but a new rule proposed by the Trump administration would cause approximately 12,261 New Mexicans to lose food assistance. The rule is so draconian, it would drop thousands of children from free and reduced school lunch across the state.
We need your help to let the Trump administration know that you oppose this attack on New Mexico’s families! Submit your public comment by Monday, September 23.
The rule cuts food assistance by eliminating state ability to increase the gross income test for SNAP. Currently, states have the flexibility to set this test between 130% and 200% of the federal poverty level. New Mexico currently sets the gross income limit at 165% of the federal poverty level.
In New Mexico over 6,639 single parents, including 2,961 single parents in school and 5,607 children are among those who would lose food benefits. Children who receive SNAP food assistance are categorically eligible for free and reduced lunch and are automatically enrolled. Children cut off of SNAP would lose this enrollment option..
Cuts to federal food assistance also hurt our local economy. Over $30 million in economic activity will be lost if New Mexicans lose federal food benefits under this rule.
The proposal would also end streamlined enrollment options that reduce paperwork for families who are already receiving services funded by New Mexico’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program. Under the proposal, these families would no longer be exempt from the burdensome requirement to document assets..
New Mexicans have fought back against similar policies proposed by the Martinez administration, and made it clear that we should fight hunger not hungry people.
Deadline to submit your public comments: September 23, 2019.
Submit your comments here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FNS-2018-0037-0001
What to include in your comment:
Use the outline below to draft a comment that reflects your opposition to the rule. It does not have to be long or detailed. However, please write some original text to maximize the impact.
1. Say you oppose the proposal:
- I strongly oppose the proposed rule that will take food assistance away from families.
2. Explain the impact of the proposal on your community:
- If the Trump Administration implements the rule, approximately 12,261 New Mexicans will lose food assistance that includes 5,607 children.
- One in five New Mexicans participate in the SNAP program.
- New Mexico has the highest rate of food insecurity in the nation. According to 2019 USDA Economic Research Service data, 16.8% of New Mexico’s households are food insecure.
- The rule jeopardizes access to free and reduced lunch, because kids who are eligible for SNAP are also eligible for automatic enrollment free and reduced school lunch.
- The rule will cause a loss of approximately $30 million in economic activity, and SNAP dollars are spent in the local economy.
3. Explain why the policy is wrong:
- The proposal runs contrary to the purpose of SNAP, which is to “safeguard the health and well-being of the Nation’s population by raising levels of nutrition among low-income households.”
- Losing SNAP can mean an increase in healthcare costs. A study published by the American Medical Association found that on average SNAP participation lowers an individual’s health care expenditures by approximately $1,447.00 per year.
- Families who work for low wages, or who cannot find enough work hours, will be expected to go hungry.