Trump Admin proposed rule would take SNAP away from 3.1 million across the nation

Joint statement from Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon and Oregon Food Bank

Anti-hunger leaders in Oregon issue statement in response to Trump administration proposal to restrict SNAP eligibility 

On July 24, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon and Oregon Food Bank issued the following joint statement in response to the directive issued by the Trump administration and the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed rule change which would curtail SNAP categorical eligibility (“cat el”), resulting in the loss of SNAP (or, food stamps) benefits for 3.1 million Americans.

“This proposed change would take food away from families in Oregon, make it harder for kids to get school meals, and add red tape and inefficiency to a program that is working well,” says Annie Kirschner, Executive Director, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon.“Every community would be hurt by this. The administration needs to listen to Oregonians who care.”

“Why would the U.S. Department of Agriculture propose a rule that puts 3.1 million American’s at risk for being hungry?” asks Susannah Morgan, CEO Oregon Food Bank. “The families most likely to lose benefits are usually working, sometimes more than one job, saving a little, and earning modestly more than the standard eligibility level. Most of these families face high living expenses like rent, childcare, transportation, and food.”


The USDA announced yesterday a proposed rule change that would restrict states’ use of the SNAP categorical eligibility provision. The proposed rule change was published today in the Federal Register, kicking off a 60-day public comment period, ending on September 23. Nothing has changed as of now and people should still apply and utilize SNAP benefits as they have been.

The proposed rule change would prevent Oregon from allowing households with incomes over 130 percent of the federal poverty limit (FPL) or modest assets to apply for SNAP (these households, like all SNAP applicants, have to show a net income at or below 100 percent of FPL after accounting for living expenses). Currently, SNAP income limits in Oregon at set at 185 percent of FPL; for a one-person household, this an annual income of $23,106, for a family of four, $47,638.

Oregon Department of Human Services estimates that tens of thousands of SNAP participants who live in every county across the state would lose their benefits, reducing SNAP funds to the state by more than $3 million each month. Losing these funds would have a significant negative economic effect on all Oregon communities as each dollar in SNAP benefits creates $1.79 in economic activity. These dollars support a range of enterprises including grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and other businesses.

Nationwide, USDA estimates 3.1 million people would lose SNAP benefits, missing out on about $3.5 billion a year in food assistance. Because SNAP eligibility qualifies children for free school meals, it’s estimated that 260,000 children will lose those meals.