Final SNAP Rule Limits Employment Waivers and Exemptions by States, Increases Food Insecurity

12/5/2019 - The Academy supports efforts to help low-income individuals develop the skills necessary to acquire steady, reliable work and recognizes that promotion of work is an important piece of the puzzle to address food insecurity. Yesterday, the United States Department of Agriculture released a final rule that limits states’ ability to issue waivers and individual exemptions for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program work requirements in areas where there are few jobs or work training programs, impacting nearly 700,000 enrollees.

This final rule will take food away from current SNAP recipients, penalizing individuals who are having difficulty accessing and documenting sufficiently meaningful work or employment and training opportunities, rather than providing viable employment solutions. The Academy is concerned this final SNAP rule is the first in a series of proposed rules that will decrease access to the SNAP program for many low-income individuals. The Academy opposed the proposed rule earlier this year, stating that the regulation would increase food insecurity while bypassing the bipartisan, bicameral effort of Congress in the 2018 Farm Bill and without providing any real investment or plan to support and encourage work.

The Academy is committed to improving the health of Americans by ensuring access to a nourishing, safe and affordable food supply. It is the position of the Academy that systematic and sustained action is needed to achieve food and nutrition security in the United States. In order to attain food security, effective interventions are needed, along with adequate funding for, and increased utilization of, food and nutrition assistance programs including SNAP.