The Trump administration announced a plan this week that would “tighten” the rules governing who qualifies for food stamps, a move that would likely take basic food provisions away from about 3 million people.
These people now rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the formal name for food stamps, including children who qualify for free lunches.
It is not a crime to be poor, but the Trump administration has repeatedly shown a desire to attack and criminalize our most vulnerable citizens. This administration has approved unnecessary and illegal Medicaid work requirements in multiple states and is now trying to take food stamps away, too.
This cruel and arbitrary proposal is part of the Trump administration’s efforts to change the poverty threshold, which would kick millions of people off food stamps even though they are still struggling to make ends meet.
The victims of this misguided proposal rely on food stamps to feed themselves and their families. Taking this essential government service away risks sending people further into poverty. It can also lead to poor health, children struggling to perform at school and adults struggling to make ends meet. Many people will also have to make difficult decisions like not paying a utility bill so they can afford to purchase food.
We should not be playing political games with the nutrition of millions of people.
The only way to stop the Trump administration from redefining poverty is to speak out. We encourage people to tell their personal stories of needing food assistance and urge federal policymakers to reject this plan.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees the food stamp program, is taking comments on this proposed rule change at www.regulations.gov.