NFU: Judge Strikes Down Rule That Would Have Caused Hundreds of Thousands to Lose Nutrition Assistance
This week, a federal judge struck down a rule that would have made hundreds of thousands of Americans ineligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps.
Under current regulations, able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) can receive food assistance no more than three months out of every three years, unless they work at least 20 hours per week or meet other education or workforce training requirements. States are able to waive work requirements when jobs were unavailable or didn’t match workers’ skills – which is particularly important right now follow the abrupt disappearance of millions of jobs in the midst of pandemic-related closures.
The rule in question would have made it more difficult for states to waive them these rules, a change that by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) own estimates would prevent 755,000 people from accessing assistance through SNAP. Since the rule was introduced last year, National Farmers Union (NFU) has consistently expressed opposition to it on the grounds that it would “erode food security in rural and urban communities alike.” As such, the organization was relieved by the judge’s decision. In recent months, NFU has urged Congress and USDA to expand SNAP and other nutrition assistance programs to address rising hunger rates.