Over 20 constituents gathered outside of Rep. Hagedorn’s office to express concern about proposed changes to SNAP/food stamp eligibility guidelines that would threaten the lives and wellbeing of 3 million people across the country. This new proposal says that, if you have more than $2,250 in assets (e.g. a house or car or even a couple of laptops), you will no longer be able to receive benefits.
According to the Star Tribune (Jul. 29, 2019), Rep. Jim Hagedorn supports the new rules saying that, “Food stamp benefits must be directed to people truly in need.”
But families in crisis - through sudden job loss or medical bills - who may have some assets (keeping in mind, $2,250 is not a lot), *are* truly in need and shouldn’t have to lose every shred of their stability and dignity in order to get help putting food on the table for their kids.
Farmers, for example, who have substantial assets and very little income, would need to lose their farm, their home, and what little savings they may have *before* qualifying for help feeding their families. Over a million veterans qualify for SNAP assistance. And SNAP eligibility is used to determine whether kids get access to reduced/free lunches and discounts for after school programs that enrich their lives and expand their minds.
We call on Rep. Hagedorn to make a statement acknowledging the problem of poverty and hunger in our district and pledge to advocate against any proposal that would deny constituents access to life-, family-, and community-supporting programs like SNAP.