Evans Fighting to Protect SNAP at all Costs

April 18, 2018
Press Release

Today, Congressman Dwight Evans (Philadelphia and Montgomery County) participated in the House Agriculture Committee Farm Bill 2018 Markup and forcefully urged the GOP majority to end their assault on the poor, elderly, veterans, and children and protect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly referred to as SNAP.

During the course of the all-day markup, Congressman Evans talked about the harms that this bill would wrought on Philadelphia and many surrounding areas if it passes.  The Congressman also added to the record letters from Governor Wolf, Mayor Kenney, and Montgomery Commissioner Arkoosh into the permanent Committee record, along with testimony from advocates in Philadelphia, Montgomery County, and the Commonwealth.

SNAP has been extremely successful and has played a vital role in the continued stability of our neighborhoods. The Trump Administration and some in Congress seek to undermine the program. For example, the Trump Administration has proposed cuts of $213B to SNAP over a decade, while some of the GOP majority in Congress has proposed cuts that would represent a massive increase in the number of people in poverty, which would be devastating to children and families, seniors, the disabled and veterans.  Although the program is a big part of the overall Farm Bill, Pennsylvanians receive on average $121 monthly.  And to boot, SNAP kept 342,000 people out of poverty in Pennsylvania in 2015. 

“I represent a district with a poverty rate of close to 26 percent. With this, in the city of Philadelphia 1 in 5 residents are food insecure and often do not know where there next meal will come from. SNAP is a vital safety-net program that residents in our neighborhoods depend on for stability and survival. As your voice in Congress I am in the business of ‘doing no harm’ and that is why I am fighting to protect this critical program at all costs,” Congressman Evans said.  

During today’s Agriculture Committee Hearing about the Farm Bill Congressman Evans shared the following testimony from SNAP advocates in our city and commonwealth:

“The Farm Bill has always been a bipartisan effort because hunger is not a political issue. For more than 40 years, Pennsylvanians have relied on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to help put food on the table during tough times. Nearly 14 percent of our state’s population is experiencing food insecurity. Cuts to SNAP will only increase that number,” Governor Tom Wolf said.

“In Philadelphia approximately 480,000 individuals receive SNAP to help buy food they need to survive and feed their families. Cutting off SNAP will not help Philadelphians get jobs but will just make it harder for them to pay for the food they need while they struggle to find work,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said.

“In Montgomery County, more than 50,000 residents receive SNAP benefits, and more than 21,000 of those recipients are children. Another 8,000 are senior citizens, and more than 7,500 are disabled adults. For these residents, the SNAP programs makes the difference as to whether or not these vulnerable individuals have a meal each day,” Val Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners said.

“The Philadelphia region currently relies on over $86 million per month in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to help families address hunger and afford a nutritious diet. SNAP benefits are also a vital economy booster in underserved communities: These dollars flow directly from recipients to local businesses like grocery stores and farmers markets—and those retailers and farmers, in turn, provide jobs and economic stability to neighborhoods across the country,” the Food Trust said.

Congressman Evans is a proud member of the House Agriculture Committee and specifically a member of the Subcommittee on Nutrition.

For the full text of the letters visit:

https://evans.house.gov/sites/evans.house.gov/files/wysiwyg_uploaded/Mayor%20Kenney%20SNAP%20support%20letter.pdf

https://evans.house.gov/media-center/blog-posts/commissioner-arkoosh-snap-support-letter

https://evans.house.gov/sites/evans.house.gov/files/wysiwyg_uploaded/4.17.18%20-%20Congressman%20Evans%20-%20SNAP%20Benefits.pdf

http://thefoodtrust.org/uploads/media_items/why-the-farm-bill-matters-for-greater-philadelphia.original.pdf

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Media Contact: Becca Brukman, 202-225-4001, Becca.Brukman@mail.house.gov