How Changes to "Heat and Eat" Policy Impacts Low-income American's Ability to Get Additional SNAP Benefits
By Sarah Ford on February 18, 2014
By Brett Weisel, Director of Advocacy for Feeding America
Earlier this month, Congress passed a new Farm Bill that enacted sweeping changes to agriculture, nutrition, and conservation policy in the U.S. Feeding America. Feeding America fought long and hard to protect and strengthen hunger-relief programs in the Farm Bill. Why? Because they play a critical role in advancing our mission of a hunger-free America.
While we were successful in preventing most of the deep cuts and harmful policy changes to SNAP, one cut did make it into the final bill. By changing the so-called “Heat and Eat” policy that allows low-income Americans to get additional SNAP benefits if they pay a significant portion of their monthly expenses on heating costs.
- 850,000 SNAP recipients will lose an average of $90 in monthly benefits in 15 states and the District of Columbia.
- The $8.6 billion cut amounts to 3.2 billion lost meals over 10 years and is the second reduction to SNAP benefits in the last year.
- That’s real food for struggling Americans.
It is often difficult to understand how these complicated policies in Washington affect you and your community, but the bottom line is this: any reduction to SNAP will make our vision of a hunger-free America more difficult to attain. That is why your voice is so critical, and why we fight so hard to make sure Congress makes the right decisions.
Want to help? Help us educate your Members of Congress by urging them to visit their local food bank to see what hunger looks like in their community first hand.