Act Now: Comments Needed to Protect Food Access for Our Most Vulnerable


On the same day President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law, USDA proposed a rule that would impose harsh time limits on many more SNAP/CalFresh participants—blatantly ignoring congress’ bipartisan agreement to leave existing rules unchanged. The proposed rule would eliminate the flexibility states have always had to waive time limits on SNAP in areas with insufficient jobs for low-income workers. SNAP’s time limit applies to able bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs), childless adults aged 18 to 49, who are unemployed or underemployed (working less than 20 hours/week). USDA estimates that under the proposed rule, 755,000 SNAP participants would be newly subject to the time limit, meaning if they can’t find and maintain employment at 20 hours per week, they will only be eligible for three months of SNAP benefits over three years.

This proposal is an unwise expansion of a harsh, unfair, and counterproductive policy.

The mistaken perspective driving the proposal ignores the reality of wealth inequality in the U.S., the distribution of income and opportunity being far from equitable. In addition to experiencing deep poverty, many of those subject to the rule face multiple challenges to economic independence, including homelessness, physical and mental health limitations, language barriers, histories of unstable employment, a criminal record, or racial discrimination. The same social and economic inequities that act as barriers to food access also make it difficult to stay employed and earn a living wage.

When receiving SNAP, unemployed and underemployed people with ABAWD status receive less than $5 a day in food benefits. That $5 a day keeps people from going hungry, and helps foster stability that supports improved employment outcomes. Ripping holes in the safety net will do nothing to address the root causes of unemployment; rather, it will drive some of the most vulnerable among us deeper into food insecurity and poverty.

Act now to stop this harmful regulation!

No one should be penalized for lack of opportunity. Here’s how you can help stop this proposal from becoming law:

Submit a comment in opposition to the rule!

Download our template comments here.

Submit your comments here by April 2nd, 2019.

Spread the word!

After adding your comment on the rule, encourage at least two people in your network to do the same. Every comment matters!

Share this tweet to get the word out!

Stop the Trump Administration from taking food from 755,000 people. Comments due 4/2! Learn more at and submit comments at #HandsOffSNAP

Questions? Contact: Jared Call at 213.482.8200 ext 201