Letters to the Editor

SNAP plays a critical role for children

SNAP, the country’s most effective anti-hunger program is in danger. The most recent farm bill that Rep. Rod Blum voted for is a large step backward; it will increase food insecurity and hardship for many Iowa families and children

In fiscal year 2017, 366,000 Iowa residents received SNAP. More than 71 percent of those participants live in families with children.

This bill makes it harder for working parents to keep their SNAP benefits. Because of the new work test included in the bill, a parent who misses work due to being ill or having to stay home with an ill child may not fulfill the work hour requirement and could lose their benefits. A family with a disabled child who requires numerous appointments may find the hourly work requirements nearly impossible to meet.

In the past as a young, single mother I was a SNAP recipient. And now, as someone who works with families as an early childhood educator, I know firsthand the benefits of SNAP and know that SNAP is crucially important to children’s health and well-being. SNAP does more than just help feed children. SNAP has long-term positive effects on health and children’s education, it alleviates poverty and benefits the economy.

This bill did not pass the first time around, but it will likely be reintroduced. Please contact Rep. Blum and tell him to vote no on any bill that cuts SNAP benefits and creates barriers for Iowa’s children and families.

Tracy Ehlert

Cedar Rapids

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