Help Protect Access to Food! Submit Comments to USDA by April 9th

by

Nearly half a million California adults who don't have children need CalFresh to put food on the table. The Trump Administration is now considering making it even more difficult for these adults to participate in CalFresh. We need your help to prevent bad policies that would increase hunger and harm. Read on to learn more about what is being considered and how you can help.


Lamar Jacques Green greets veterans as they arrive to pick up food from the Veterans Transition Center's food pantry.


Richard Lopez, a veteran from Stockton, California understands the struggles low-income adults face when trying to find steady work. He explains that for him, “Mental issues, health issues, financial issues, peer support issues… they were all there.” After returning from service in Vietnam, he spent nearly 10 years being homeless. “I felt betrayed by my country, because when I asked for help it wasn't there,” he shared. In California, many low-income childless adults face similar challenges to independence and self-sufficiency.

When lost jobs, unstable hours, and low wages push Californians to teeter on the edge of stability, CalFresh remains one of the only federal assistance programs for which adults without minor children may qualify. For years, a federal waiver has allowed California to extend CalFresh benefits to unemployed, childless adults, beyond a federally imposed three-month time limit. Waivers of the three-month time limit are allowed in states or areas with higher than average unemployment rates. Now, it appears USDA wants to make it more difficult for states to get these waivers.

USDA has requested public comments on whether it should reconsider certain rules regarding the three-month time limit for low-income adults who are not raising minor children. Before making any changes, USDA is asking the public to tell them if reworking these rules is a good idea. We need to generate lots of comments from a wide variety of voices urging USDA to not restrict waivers or pursue any other changes that would result in many more vulnerable people being cut off from CalFresh.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Here is how you can make your voice heard to prevent the administration from making the already harsh SNAP/CalFresh three-month time limit rule even worse.

1. Download a customizable template comment letter doc

2. Once you have customized your comment letter, you can cut and paste your comments into the online submission tool here.

Or, if you prefer, there’s always USPS: Mail comments to SNAP Program Development Division, Food and Nutrition, Services, USDA, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 812, Alexandria, Virginia 22302.

3. For individuals, our partners at Feeding America have put together a shorter template to submit. link

4. Don't wait! Comments are due to USDA by Monday, April 9th!

Stay up to date on the Farm Bill and other federal nutrition policy by signing up for CFPA's Nutrition Action Alerts.

Questions? Contact: Jared Call at 213.482.8200 ext 201