Friday, August 15, 2014

New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty Offers Data on How Changes to SNAP Rules Would Hurt Our State

A couple of days ago we posted a note from the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM pointing out that the proposed changes to SNAP rules in New Mexico would be counterproductive in our efforts to reduce the high rate of food insecurity in our state.

The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty (NMCLP) put together a briefing paper to support that position. The NMLC is also urging us to contact Gov. Susana Martinez's office to express our opposition to the changes.  Here are some excerpts from the briefing paper. The full briefing (courtesy of Louise Pocock, staff attorney at the NMCLP) is embedded just below the excerpts.

On August 1, 2014, the NM Human Services Department (HSD) announced plans to limit food benefits to adults on food stamps, including parents of children over six years old. New Mexico would be one of six states to reject available federal benefits that currently bring millions of dollars into New Mexico’s grocers and surrounding communi ties, while alleviating hunger. 

The NMCLP offers a couple of important reasons why the changes are not a good idea.

New Mexico Cannot Afford to Reject Millions of Dollars in Federal Food Assistance: SNAP benefits are 100% paid for by the federal government. Every $1.00 of food assistance given through SNAP goes direct into local food and grocery stores, creating $1.70 to $1.80 in economic activity. By ref using to waive the work requirements until employment improves , New Mexico could lose over $47 million funneled directly into our poorest counties , while incurring administrative costs

Food Banks Cannot Replace Such a Significant Loss of Food Assistance: Every week, nearly 40,000 New Mexicans seek food assistance. This is equivalent to a city the size of Farmington seeking food assistance. SNAP benefits last an average of 2.3 weeks. Demand for food assistance through food pantries and other charities is already at an all - time high and there are simply not enough resources to meet the needs of those thrown off of SNAP under the proposed rule.

There are a couple of ways to make your voice heard to oppose the changes..

You can also call Gov. Susana Martinez's office to oppose the changes.  The phone number is (505) 476-2200

No comments: