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PETITION: Protect Your SNAP Benefits Now!

PETITION: Protect Your SNAP Benefits Now!

If you rely on food benefits to feed your family, then we need your help! Lawmakers are currently considering drastic changes to the food stamps law that could restrict how you use your benefits. This could impact millions of families and make it harder for the most vulnerable Americans to purchase the food they desperately need.

You can help us. We’ve provided a sample letter below that you can send to your elected members of Congress to encourage them to protect your benefits.

In this article, we’ll review what is being proposed, why it’s a terrible idea and how you can get involved to protect benefits for all low income Americans.

Some lawmakers want to limit food stamps.

America is in the middle of a major budget battle and lawmakers are looking for ways to make cuts. Some lawmakers want to make cuts from benefit programs like SNAP so that they can spend more money elsewhere, and they think that restricting what you can buy is the way to do it. 

There are currently two battlefields for this debate: the state of Iowa and the federal government are both considering sweeping changes to the food stamps law.

Iowa is trying to limit SNAP to WIC purchases.

Lawmakers in Iowa want to change SNAP so that it can only be used to purchase certain foods authorized by WIC, a nutrition program aimed at serving pregnant women, infants and children. This would severely limit the types of food you could buy with your SNAP food benefits.

As of 2023, WIC only allows you to purchase the following items:

  • Breakfast cereal (including corn flakes, oatmeal, grits and cream of wheat)
  • Canned fish 
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Formula & baby food
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Juice 
  • Legumes
  • Milk
  • Peanut Butter
  • Tofu
  • Whole wheat bread (including bread, buns, rolls, rice, oats, barley, tortillas and macaroni)
  • Whole grains
  • Yogurt

Obviously, this would be a huge shift from how the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program currently works. Right now, SNAP allows you to buy any food item that is meant for human consumption, as long as it is not hot at the time of purchase or specifically authorized by the law (like alcohol, pet food, etc).

The current SNAP guidelines allow you to buy:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, poultry, and fish
  • Dairy products
  • Breads and cereals
  • Snack foods
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Seeds and produce-bearing plants

Restricting SNAP to only allow WIC-eligible items would be a disaster for the health, safety and nutrition of low income households. They wouldn’t be able to buy meat, butter, flour or other staples under these restrictions.

Some federal lawmakers want to cut food stamps, too.

Every five years, the federal government passes a new Farm Bill. This important piece of legislation is only valid for five years at a time. The current Farm Bill was passed in 2018 and will expire in September of this year.

This bill isn’t just about agriculture. It also governs food stamps and a bunch of other critical nutrition programs, such as the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program.

Some lawmakers are looking to aggressively cut government spending. About 80% of the Farm Bill’s spending is allocated to nutrition programs like food stamps, the USDA Commodities program, the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, and more. This makes these programs a target for lawmakers who want to trim the budget.

It’s no secret that some lawmakers are trying very hard to cut down on SNAP spending. House Appropriations Chair Kay Granger has said that they are “still looking at” cutting SNAP benefits or adding new requirements for the program. 

Minnesota Post reports that “fights (are) likely over the proposed changes to food stamp and other USDA programs.”

The Post also points out that over 140 lawmakers signed a ‘Blueprint to Save America’ that proposes some drastic changes to the SNAP program, including:

  • completely ending SNAP benefits for childless single adults
  • consolidating food stamps into the TANF program
  • removing the marriage penalty from benefit calculations
  • imposing new work requirements
  • requiring ID to use food stamps
  • restricting how many replacement cards you can get in a single year
  • prohibiting you from using SNAP outside of the state you live in
  • requiring all people who receive SNAP to consent to home visits

We all need to defend SNAP food benefits.

The good news is that there are major lobbying groups fighting these changes to the SNAP bill. The National Grocers Association (NGA) is pushing lawmakers to resist restricting SNAP choices and make the online SNAP purchasing pilot permanent. 

“The government will need to categorize more than 600,000 products and thousands more each year to create and maintain a food code to determine what foods can be purchased with SNAP. Grocery store cashiers will become the food police, telling parents what they can and cannot feed their families.”

Stephanie Johnson, NGA Vice President

Because the Farm Bill still has not been finalized yet, you can still take action to fight these changes. Use the Find Your Members tool on the official Congress website to locate your elected legislators. When you search your address, the tool will give you the name of your Representatives and Congressmen. Use the blue “contact” link under their name to send them a message. You can also call them at the number listed, if you prefer. 

If you need a suggestion about what to say, I have a proposed letter to Congress available that you can copy. Please remember that I am not a lawyer or a social worker or a credentialed person of any kind – I’m just a journalist and a researcher who has been studying low income topics for over a decade. However, you’re welcome to use my template if it makes it easier. 

You can download my template letter below. Make sure to change the fields marked in bold font to reflect your name, contact information, and your elected lawmaker’s information. The file is available below both as a PDF and an editable open document type.

The more of us reach out, the more likely we are to create change. Even if you think your voice doesn’t matter, it does. When you add your voice to mine and the other 100,000 people who follow my channel, we can make a difference!

Nicole is the owner and lead researcher for Low Income Relief. She has over 20 years of professional research and writing experience, and she has been solely dedicated to investigating low income topics for the last 10 years. Nicole started Low Income Relief after a personal experience with poverty. When her husband was medically discharged from the US Army, their family experienced tremendous financial hardship. Nicole was able to gather help from multiple community agencies and move into a nearby low income housing unit in just two weeks! Since then, Nicole has been dedicated to helping low income families in crisis. She regularly spends hundreds of hours combing through countless resources to make sure that Low Income Relief has the most comprehensive and complete resource directories on the internet today. Prior to starting Low Income Relief, Nicole worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. Her work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today, The Daily Herald, The Chronicle and more. Her work has also been featured by Google for Publishers and other leading industry publications.

Christina Murdie

Wednesday 22nd of March 2023

I also have a gluten intolerance. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I'm not suppose to have any gluten or processed foods.

Christina Murdie

Wednesday 22nd of March 2023

I do not believe this change should be made. We rely every month on our EBT / Snap benefits. That's the only way I can afford to feed myself. I hope this is not going to change too the WIC limited food choices.

Sylvia Ramirez

Tuesday 14th of March 2023

Social Security is my only income,by the time I pay my bills,hardly enough to buy food& necessary items,Food Stamps is really big help,without it,I would not be able to put food on my table,like so many other Families!

Mari Mckithen

Tuesday 7th of March 2023

I am 57 years old and unemployed and the SNAP Program has helped me to maintain food in my refrigerator and food in my stomach. Before the SNAP Program. I could not afford to eat a well-balanced meal. I am so grateful and thankful for that. Please do not cut the SNAP Program and please do not put no restrictions on SNAP Program because you will be hurting people in my age bracket not being able to maintain their health and living a healthy life. If this is passed, I will not be able to eat and others that are in similar situations as mine.


Monday 27th of February 2023

I am disabled I liver cirrhosis of liver ! Debetic ! Ulcers problem with stomach ! I can’t eat certain foods bye they doing this I won’t be able to eat ! Can’t eat fish or tuna ! I am on special food plan that ! Bye u doing this I won’t be able to eat ! God bless all !