Skip to main content

NAACP Opposes Cuts in Food Stamps, Limits on Eligibility

WHEREAS, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ("SNAP") (formerly known as "food stamps"), is operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and

WHEREAS, as of January, 2014, more than 46.5 million Americans in 23 million households relied on SNAP; and

WHEREAS, about one-in-five Americans (18%) has participated in SNAP in their lifetime; about a quarter of all Americans (26%) live in a household with a current or former food stamp recipient; and

WHEREAS, the average SNAP benefit is currently $133 in food assistance each month, which is only approximately $4.43 per day; and

WHEREAS, during the 2013 Senate consideration of the bill to reauthorize SNAP an amendment was included in the final bill to deny SNAP benefits to anyone who was ever convicted of a variety of crimes, regardless of how long they had been out of prison or jail; and

WHEREAS, during the 2013 consideration of the bill to reauthorize SNAP in the U.S. House of Representatives, a provision was included which would have required intrusive drug testing for all beneficiaries- regardless of their age (even children) or lack of any previous record of drug use; and

WHEREAS, the bill passed by the U.S Senate would have reduced federal spending on SNAP by $5 billion over 5 years; the U.S. House of Representatives also passed legislation in 2013 which would have cut federal funding for SNAP by $40 billion over 5 years; and

WHEREAS, the final bill reauthorizing the SNAP program for 5 years was passed by both the House and the Senate in late January, 2014, and signed into law by the President Barack Obama in February 2014; and

WHEREAS, while the final bill did change the eligibility standards for SNAP so as to result in a reduction of approximately $8 billion over 5 years, it did not contain the objectionable language restricting SNAP use by ex-felony offenders or requiring drug testing of SNAP recipients.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the NAACP strongly reaffirms its support for a robust Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that meets the needs of Americans, as expressed in our 1976 and 1995 resolutions; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the NAACP Washington Bureau shall continue to argue in favor of restoring critical funding to the SNAP program as well as in continued opposition to onerous requirements which may have a disparate impact on American families struggling to get through hard times.