Over the past decade, there have been significant expansions in policies that support low-income working families, such as refundable tax credits, health insurance, child support enforcement, child care subsidies, and nutritional supports. These programs help hard working families who struggle to meet basic needs due to low wages, irregular hours and lack of benefits. However, this safety net is incomplete. CLASP advocates for improvements in individual programs and in the service delivery system to help ensure low-income families have the support they need to stay employed and provide for their families.
Time to Carve Turkey, not SNAP
By Helly Lee
Thanksgiving is the ultimate food holiday. Many Americans will travel far and near to celebrate with friends and family around dinner tables filled with elaborately prepared food. However, for many low income families, the holidays are an especially difficult time. Many struggle to provide the basics for their families, let alone a celebratory Thanksgiving feast.
For over 22 million low income families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides support to ensure access to food. The average SNAP benefit of $1.50 per person, per meal barely covers a third of what an average serving of Thanksgiving dinner could cost. Yet, even these modest benefits are effective in reducing food insecurity. SNAP is also responsive to the economy, expanding to help those in need and boost the economy in downturns and contracting as the economy recovers and the needs are less. In fact, as the economy continues to slowly recover, SNAP costs have already started to fall.
However, SNAP continues to face deep cuts in Congress. Earlier this summer the Senate passed a farm bill that would cut $4 billion from SNAP over 10 years. The House-passed bill proposes to take an even more drastic bite out of SNAP, cutting over $40 billion over 10 years. The House cuts would take away SNAP benefits from 4 million people, including children and seniors. In addition, these massive reductions would make it harder for unemployed workers to receive benefits -- even if they were willing to work but are simply unable to find jobs -- and the cuts would also make SNAP less responsive in the next recession. This is a double hit on long-term unemployed workers, who face the added loss of federal extended unemployment benefits at the end of December.
Benefit Access and Health Care Reform ResourcesHealth care reform has the potential to dramatically change the way low-income individuals and families apply for and receive other benefits, such as nutritional assistance and the earned income tax credit. READ MORE »
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch | Nov 13, 2013 House Farm Bill Places Families at Risk
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch | Nov 04, 2013 New Health Insurance Marketplaces Support Work
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch | Oct 17, 2013 Taking Food from the Mouths of Children (Youth Today Feature)
- CLASP and YOUNG INVINCIBLES | Jun 18, 2013 ACA Toolkit: Helping Students Understand Health Care Reform and Enroll in Health Insurance
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch | Jun 26, 2013 Why the Failure of the Farm Bill Was Good for Low-Income Families (Huffington Post Feature)
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch | Nov 18, 2013 SNAP Cuts Put Youth at Risk
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch | Nov 13, 2013 SNAP Policy Brief: House Farm Bill Places Families at Risk
- Olivia Golden | Nov 08, 2013 Recommendations to the Congressional Budget Conference Committee
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch | Oct 23, 2013 CLASP Letter to 2013 Farm Bill Conferees
- Olivia Golden | Oct 18, 2013 The Real Costs of the Federal Shutdown