Letter: Protect SNAP program

Sunday, March 19, 2017
Protect SNAP program

I’m scared for thousands of working poor families in our state.

Senate Bill 7, drafted by an out-of-state conservative think tank, threatens to kick 17,000 families with children off food stamps, or the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, by tightening up eligibility.

Currently, when families with children apply, they’re allowed to have a gross income up to 185 percent of the federal poverty line, as long as their expenses for things like rent and child care bring their net income below 100 percent of the federal poverty line.

It’s a way of making sure that people who have slightly higher income (likely from working) can still get food stamps if their expenses for basic needs leave them in poverty. But the bill would eliminate this option, and it would not save our state a dime, since SNAP benefits are 100 percent federally funded.

In fact, since New Hampshire pays half of the administrative costs, this bill would actually cost us money to update the eligibility system. Families kicked off of food stamps would still be hungry, but they would turn to local welfare programs, which are funded through property taxes.

As a mother, I can’t stand the thought of any family worrying about how to feed their kids. I urge everyone who feels the same to call their state legislators and demand they vote no on SB 7. Kids shouldn’t go hungry.