The Root Cause Coalition Issues Public Comment on Proposed Expansion of SNAP Work Requirements

WASHINGTON, DC – The Root Cause Coalition issued a letter of public comment on the Food and Nutrition Services’ (FNS) Advanced Notice on proposed rule-making regarding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Requirements and Services for Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents (FNS-2018-0004).

The letter urges FNS Administrator Brandon Lipps to consider the positive effects of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on the overall health of recipients. The letter also expresses concern about the costs of enacting a work requirement program for Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents and the resulting reduction in resources available to help those most in need if additional funding is not provided to offset the full cost of implementation. Citing a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the letter reminds Administrator Lipps that individuals enrolled in SNAP have health care expenditures that are, on average, $1,400 less per year than those of similar individuals who are not enrolled in SNAP.

“The direct cost of food insecurity – the lack of access to reliable, affordable and nutritious food – to the health care industry alone is $77 billion,” writes Barbara Petee, Executive Director of the Root Cause Coalition. “The Root Cause Coalition strongly urges you to ensure that all those eligible for SNAP be allowed the ability to access this vital lifeline.”

The Root Cause Coalition counts among its membership local and national food banks that work directly with SNAP recipients, as well as numerous major health systems. The Coalition’s letter represents a confluence of expert opinion that cuts across sectors, states and services. The Coalition appreciates the opportunity to comment on the proposed policy and encourages regulators and lawmakers to use the Coalition as a resource when considering questions of this kind in the future.

Read the original notice from FNS.

About The Root Cause Coalition

Established in 2015, The Root Cause Coalition is a non-profit, member-driven organization comprised of more than 45 leading health systems, hospital associations, foundations, businesses, national and community nonprofits, health insurers, academic institutions and policy centers. The Coalition works to achieve health equity through cross-sector collaboration in advocacy, education and research. For more information, visit www.rootcausecoalition.org and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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