With your help, our advocacy team succeeded last year in defeating a farm bill proposal that imposed harsh time limits on millions of people in the SNAP/CalFresh program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants to ignore Congress’ bipartisan bill. They are proposing to undermine the flexibility states have always had to waive time limits on SNAP in areas with insufficient jobs or low-income people struggling to find enough work.

Food for the hungry shouldn’t have a time limit

Members of our Food Bank advocacy team joined advocates from across the nation in Washington, D.C. to tell our members of Congress why SNAP is critical for nearly four million Californians, and to fight against the USDA’s attempt to override the farm bill they passed.

USDA estimates 775,000 SNAP participants would be newly subject to the time limit under the proposed rule. That means if a childless adult, aged 18-49, can’t find and maintain employment for at least 20 hours per week, they will only be eligible for three months of SNAP benefits over three years.

There are an estimated 9,500 Alameda County residents who could be impacted by this rule. 

We need your help to stop this harmful regulation. Before the new rule can go forward, the USDA is required by law to take and respond to public comments. Please submit your comment today telling the USDA that no one should go hungry while they are struggling to find work.

This proposal perpetuates the false narrative that poverty is the fault of the poor and they don’t deserve to eat. It’s a cruel attempt to chip away at our social safety net by defining who and who isn’t suffering. It will do nothing to address the root causes of unemployment. Rather, it will drive many of the most vulnerable among us deeper into food insecurity and poverty.

The more comments they receive, the better our chance of delaying the final version of the rule or forcing it to be changed.

Below is a comment template. Please add why you oppose this rule in your own words.

I am writing to oppose stricter time limits to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). There are already strict rules for people who don’t have children or dependents (able bodied adults without dependents — ABAWDs) to get food assistance through SNAP. We should not make the existing harsh rules even worse by taking away state flexibility or exposing more people to time-limited benefits. Increasing the ability of USDA to deny state waivers for easing harsh SNAP time limits and expanding the people these strict rules apply to will only increase the number of people facing hunger in this country.

[Add your personal comment. Why is protecting access to food assistance for people struggling to find enough work important to you? To your community as a whole?]