August 22, 2019

Guest Column: Proposed cut in food stamps would hurt Florida’s children [Florida Times-Union]

This post was last updated on December 8, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

The United States Department of Agriculture talks a good game about moving into work low-income Americans who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — or SNAP — benefits. But the department’s recent proposal to cut SNAP benefits would take away the food assistance of some low-income workers who already struggle to keep their heads above water.

A federal option allows some SNAP participants to earn up to 200 percent of poverty and save money without losing eligibility for assistance. Without that option families in Florida would become ineligible for SNAP when their gross income exceeds 130 percent of poverty or they accumulate savings of more than $2,250.

Not many people know it but SNAP is the unsung hero of low-income workers in the Sunshine State; more than 1.25 million Floridians who work in low-wage jobs, like cashiers and garbage collectors, rely on SNAP to feed their families.


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