Oppose cuts to SNAP: don’t take food away from struggling Oregonians

Everyone is better off when people facing hard times have access to food. The Trump Administration’s recent proposed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) rule would do the opposite–taking food away from 755,000 people across the nation when they need it most. The proposed rule would make it harder for unemployed and underemployed workers to access food assistance when they have trouble finding steady work.

The proposed rule would expand SNAP time limits by hindering states’ abilities to waive these requirements in areas of high unemployment. These harsh time limits don’t provide jobs or effective job training for SNAP participants–instead they cut off vulnerable people from a crucial resource at a time of highest need.

The bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill that passed in December rejected these changes. The Trump Administration is looking to bypass Congress and constituent voices and enact these restrictions unilaterally through this proposed rule.


Impact for Oregon

In Oregon, if this rule is enacted it would likely expand SNAP time limits statewide and put more Oregonians at risk for losing SNAP benefits within 3 months. We have already seen the damaging impact of these time limits on Oregonians from the Willamette Valley to Central and Southern Oregon. Thousands of vulnerable Oregonians have been cut off SNAP because it’s difficult to navigate the complicated requirements of these rules.

This rule change would mean Oregonians in the counties with the very highest rates of unemployment would now be punished for not being able to find full time jobs. The punishment? Unnecessarily going without food. This runs counter to our state’s declaration that “All people have the right to be free from hunger.”

Expanded time limits would also have a huge negative impact on our economy. Annually, SNAP brings in over one billion federal dollars that circulate in our economy supporting our local food system. Cutting SNAP means hurting Oregon farmers, producers, and grocery retailers.

Waivers from SNAP time limits were critical during the recent great recession when so many of our neighbors struggled to find full-time work. At the peak of the recession in 2011, over 800,000 Oregonians received SNAP. This rule would limit Oregon’s ability to respond to an economic downtown when there’s a greater need.


Take Action – Make a Public Comment

Take action by telling the Trump Administration that there shouldn’t be a time limit on food for Oregonians facing hunger. The most effective way to make an impact is to write a public comment opposing this proposed rule. By federal law, all original comments must be read and taken into consideration, so please personalize your comment to maximize your impact.

Making a comment is easy. It’s a lot like writing an email to your member of Congress. The only difference is your comment will become part of the public record. Individuals, organizations, and community leaders are encouraged to make comments. The 60-day comment window is open through April 2nd.


Two Ways to Write a Comment



We have seen over the last few years increasingly harsh and inhumane restrictions on SNAP recipients labeled as “Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents”, or “ABAWDs”, which are defined as childless adults ages 18 to 50. This was triggered by the 1996 “Welfare Reform” law that tied time limits on SNAP to unemployment rates in counties. These restrictions limit eligibility for food assistance to three months within a period of three years unless individuals meet an exemption or are able to obtain and maintain 20 hours a week of employment or work activities.



Model Comments from FRAC

More information on SNAP time limits in Oregon

Key Messages from the Center on American Progress

Infographics from FRAC for social media