Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis released the following statement after the Board of Supervisors approved her motion opposing the federal Administration’s final rule change to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by directing the County to take legal action against this reduction in public benefits:
“On Dec. 4, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published its final rule on SNAP, known here in California as CalFresh. This draconian new rule will take food away from nearly 700,000 SNAP recipients nationally, which includes 304,000 recipients in Los Angeles County, by imposing work requirements on individuals who struggle to find gainful employment. This is yet another assault by this Administration against the millions of working families, and children, who rely on SNAP to combat hunger. This Administration’s action to take food from hungry families during the holiday season is heartless.
In LA County, two million of our residents experience food insecurity; solving this crisis is a matter of public health. As this nation’s most effective anti-hunger program, SNAP should be supported and strengthened to ensure all of our communities are vibrant and healthy. Instead, this new rule will inflict harm on people who make ends meet by taking seasonal or part-time jobs with unreliable hours. In addition, the final rule will harm neighborhood grocery stores and communities by reducing the amount of SNAP dollars that could help spur local economic growth. Every dollar in SNAP spending leads to an increase in GDP between $.80 and $1.50.
If provisions of the final rule take effect on April 1, 2020, SNAP will become less useful during economic recessions. Having served as U.S. Secretary of Labor during the Great Recession, I saw firsthand the economic stimulus that SNAP provides to the economy – and the lifeline it offers to individuals and families during hard times. The Great Recession left many workers unemployed for long periods, and people fell into deep poverty. The waivers this final rule removes is contrary to Congress’ intent and will weaken SNAP’s effectiveness in times of an economic downturn. Not only will the final rule hurt people during recessions, but more immediately it will worsen the homelessness crisis.
This Administration’s attempt to exacerbate the food insecurity crisis will harm our most vulnerable, including children from low-income households. LA County will not stand idly by as this Administration denies food for hardworking Americans who struggle to find steady jobs that pay living wages.”
In addition, the final rule will harm small neighborhood grocery stores, and communities by reducing the amount of SNAP dollars available to spur local economic activity.
Contact: Rosa Maria Santana, Deputy Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 213-359-0795