Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Urge Your New Mexico State Legislators to Keep SNAP Supplement

The Legislative Finance Committee has recommended eliminating the State SNAP supplement in its budget proposal for 2017. Please contact your legislators urging them to retain this important source of food assistance for older and disabled New Mexicans. The following information is provided by the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, using statistics from the state and from the Bureau Of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index.

According to the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department, our state has one of the highest rates of food insecurity among seniors in the country. Nearly one-half (46%) of New Mexico seniors report having to choose between buying food, and paying for utilities (compared to 35% nationally).

 Why is this important?
The State Supplement addresses this fact by ensuring that 11,735 low-income older and disabled New Mexicans with net monthly income of no more than $908 receive at least $25 a month in SNAP/Food Stamps to put food on the table.

$1.2 Million is needed to keep this important program going.
When the federally-funded SNAP benefit that an individual receives is less than $25, state funding raises it to $25.

The minimum federal SNAP benefit is $16 per month. This does not take into account the special needs of older and disabled individuals that can increase their food costs: diet restrictions, no working stove, inability to cook due to health problems, or difficulty getting to an affordable (or any) store.

The chart on the left illustrates what an additional $9 can buy.

Another argument in favor of keeping the supplement: SNAP Spending Spurs Economic Activity SNAP benefits are urgently needed, so recipients spend them quickly—97% of benefits are redeemed by the end of the month of issuance – spent almost entirely on local purchases. Experts estimate that every dollar of SNAP results at least $1.70 in economic activity. Protecting SNAP benefits supports healthy communities and local economies now - when both need all the help they can get  

Contact your legislator in Santa Fe. 

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