Tuesday, October 1, 2019 – As an organization committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of children, Children’s Health Fund strongly opposes the administration’s proposed rule to amend broad-based categorical eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This proposed rule would impair the health of children, cause more children in this country to go hungry, and threaten the wellbeing and stability of millions of families.
SNAP acts as a lifeline for struggling families and children living in poverty. The administration’s proposed rule would severely restrict broad-based categorical eligibility for SNAP, which has allowed families with modest savings to continue receiving SNAP while saving money and moving closer to financial stability. Broad-based categorical eligibility helps to reduce food insecurity and provides some financial relief to families struggling to make ends meet while juggling the costs of housing, childcare, and other living expenses.
Restricting categorical eligibility would have a destructive impact on families and children living in poverty, causing approximately three million people in the United States to lose food assistance annually. Hundreds of thousands of children could lose access to free school meals, which provide the vital nutrition they need to learn and succeed academically. Adequate nutrition is essential to a child’s health and the foundation for physical and mental development. Children facing hunger are more likely to experience hospitalization, certain health conditions, developmental impairments, and social and behavioral problems.
The proposed rule puts children’s health at risk. Children’s Health Fund strongly urges the administration to immediately withdraw this proposal in full.