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FORT PIERCE, Fla., April 13, 2018 – Treasure Coast Food Bank expressed alarm today at language included in the 2018 Farm Bill by the House Agriculture Committee that would significantly reduce SNAP participation and potentially devastate the community.

“We are alarmed at language included in the 2018 Farm Bill released this week by the House Agriculture Committee. The deep cuts to the program will add dramatically to the 42 million people nationwide and the 100,000 on the Treasure Coast without access to food, and there is no way Treasure Coast Food Bank and our partner charities can make up the difference,” said Judith Cruz, President and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank.

The committee released the 2018 Farm Bill on Thursday. The new proposed language:

  • Would take SNAP away from low-income working people with children and eliminate their children’s direct connection to free school meals.
  • Would expand the number of people subject to time-limited SNAP benefits by adding unemployed and underemployed parents of children age 6 and older and adults up to age 60 (currently age 50).
  • Would shorten the time limit for SNAP benefits from three months to only one month for anyone not working, unless they are older than 60 or have children under 6 years old.

Treasure Coast Food Bank provides meals for about 100,000 individuals who struggle with hunger each month. That includes many individuals who work but who don’t make enough to provide adequate food for themselves and their families.

“Treasure Coast Food Bank is part of the fabric of our community, and feeding neighbors in need is a shared responsibility. Each day we see the partnership reflected among our volunteers and donors,” Cruz said. “But the nonprofit sector cannot do this alone. For each meal that we provide, the SNAP program provides 12. SNAP is a cornerstone federal nutrition program and is vital to addressing hunger in America. It is also critical to our local economy as every SNAP dollar provided to a Treasure Coast family is spent in stores here, supporting those businesses and jobs in our community.”

Treasure Coast Food Bank is calling on its representatives in Congress – Rep. Bill Posey, Rep. Tom Rooney, and Rep. Brian Mast – to oppose the dramatic cuts in eligibility to SNAP.

“Ensuring that Americans have the ability to put food on the table should be considered fundamental,” Cruz said. “Treasure Coast Food Bank for many years has provided holistic programs that help people not only feed themselves and their families but take steps out of poverty. But those steps are impossible for people who don’t have enough to eat. Any reductions to the SNAP program should be deemed unacceptable by Congress.”