FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – A coalition of 24 attorneys general opposing proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that would harm public health by denying many Kentucky families, seniors and children access to food assistance.
The coalition filed a comment letter against a proposed United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) rule that would: cause children to lose free school meals; take food assistance away from 3.1 million low-income people, including working poor families with children, seniors and people with disabilities; increase burdens on states and violate federal law.
The USDA’s proposed eligibility rule would affect SNAP, the country’s most important anti-hunger program.
The program provides people with limited incomes the opportunity to access nutritious food and is a crucial component of federal and state efforts to help lift people out of poverty.
The proposed rule would eliminate a long-standing policy that allows Kentucky and other states to consider local economic factors, like high costs of living or the cost of childcare, when determining eligibility for SNAP.
The proposed rule will eliminate these efficiency gains and increase administrative costs on states.
In addition, the changes would have a disproportionate impact on seniors. More than 13 percent of all SNAP households with elderly members would lose food assistance, which could potentially force low-income seniors to choose between paying for necessary medication and food.