Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Help stop cuts to food assistance for people who have lost their jobs.
Second Harvest works hard to feed people across the 18 counties of Northwest North Carolina. We are dedicated to our work and move 37 tons of food daily to help fight hunger. However, with one in seven of our neighbors in Northwest North Carolina facing food insecurity, we strongly support federal programs such as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) that can and do reach so many more people than our efforts can alone.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that they plan to cut food assistance for individuals who are having trouble finding work. This would mean Northwest North Carolinians who are having a hard time looking for a job would face yet another challenge in addition to job hunting– they would be looking for their next meal.
Before this plan can be passed, YOU can weigh in. The USDA must read and answer every unique comment that they receive.
Under the current rules, able-bodied adults without dependents can get food assistance through SNAP for only three months if they’ve lost their job or cannot secure work that reliably provides at least 20 hours a week.
This rule is harsh and denies people food assistance when they are especially vulnerable. Currently, states can choose to extend that help an additional year if their communities do not have enough jobs. The USDA is proposing to take this flexibility away from states and cut off a lifeline for those who are looking for work or working part-time.
Economic rebounding and job growth remain uneven in North Carolina. Unemployment in the rural communities that Second Harvest serves is among the highest in our state.
Regrettably, in 2016, the NC General Assembly permanently banned the NC Department of Health and Human Services from requesting any further waivers based on employment rates. Second Harvest Food Bank opposed them doing so at that time and we remain opposed to any policy changes that do not take into consideration the difficult economic conditions that continue in so many of the local communities that we serve.
We have a short period of time to tell the USDA how this plan is harmful for people struggling with hunger.
It will only take a few minutes to write a comment and submit it – but it could have a life-changing impact if it helps preserve food assistance for people who may be facing the biggest personal crisis of their life.
UPDATE: THE COMMENT PERIOD IS CLOSED. TO STAY UP TO DATE ON ADVOCACY ISSUES RELATED TO HUNGER, PLEASE FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA.