Protect and Strengthen SNAP in the 2023 Farm Bill

Adopted at the 91st Annual Meeting in 2023

  • WHEREAS, Mayors across the country recognize that Farm Bill programs provide essential support to cities, their residents, and their economies; and

    WHEREAS, the Farm Bill's unique focus on eliminating hunger and increasing nutrition security builds a stronger society for all of our residents; and

    WHEREAS, the provisions of the Farm Bill support both urban and rural communities, and provide critical assistance to those facing the devastating effects of hunger and poverty; and

    WHEREAS, a key part of the Farm Bill, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the largest anti-hunger program in the United States, provides critical food and nutrition assistance to over 42 million low-income Americans; and

    WHEREAS, SNAP has proven to be a crucial tool for mitigating food hardship and supporting local economies especially during the pandemic; and

    WHEREAS, eligibility for SNAP is limited to households with a gross income under 130% of the federal poverty guidelines, which is about $36,000 for a family of four; and

    WHEREAS, 14 million children, or 1 in 5 US children participate in SNAP, and 66% of all SNAP households contain children; and

    WHEREAS, 84% of SNAP families had at least one person working in the past 12 months, but the average SNAP household had an annual gross income of only $10,464; and

    WHEREAS, SNAP improves food security by increasing access to nutritious food, and is linked to approximately 25% lower health care costs; and

    WHEREAS, the Thrifty Food Plan, a set of standards reflective of the real-life costs to maintain a nutritious diet, was revised by the USDA in 2021 for the first time in 45 years since being introduced in 1975, increasing the value of SNAP benefits 21%; and

    WHEREAS, the Thrifty Food Plan sets the maximum level of benefits available to SNAP household by family size, and increased the benefits by $6 a person per day; and

    NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to reauthorize the nation's nutrition and agricultural legislation, the Farm Bill, before September 30th, 2023; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED,, that the United States Conference of Mayors urges Congress to protect the nutrition portion of the Farm Bill that provides critical food assistance to 42 million Americans, more than half of whom are children and seniors; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that SNAP helps the most vulnerable in our cities and rural communities, SNAP participation contributes to improved nutrition and positive long-term health outcomes; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED,, the Farm Bill should modernize the program and reduce the administrative burden on participants and state agencies with improved technology that strengthens the integrity and efficiency of the program; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Mayors strongly support all efforts to increase the safety and security of Electronic Benefit Cards, including chip technology and consumer protections; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Mayors strongly oppose proposals to increase the work requirements on SNAP recipients, which do little to improve employability or self-sufficiency, and actually increase food insecurity; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Mayors strongly oppose limiting SNAP eligibility to only 3 months every three years for Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Mayors support maintaining the option for any state to choose to expand participation through the adoption of Broad Based Categorical Eligibility for households with an income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Limit, and to streamline income and resource guidelines with other federal benefit programs; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Mayors support maintaining SNAP-ED as mandatory funding, and expanding food and nutrition education programs; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Mayors support programs that promote food security, nutrition, and health by maintaining nutrition programs funding opportunities like the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) providing incentives to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Mayors strongly support simplifying and expanding SNAP eligibility for all students who are enrolled in an institution of higher learning; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Mayors support programs that increase equitable accesses to SNAP in historically underserved communities, including immigrants and others impacted by the suggested rule changes to the Public Charge policy; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED,, the Mayors support full access to SNAP for tribal communities, regardless of participation in other nutrition programs, and the full transition to SNAP for Puerto Rico and other US territories; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors supports the passage of a Farm Bill that incorporates the following principles: protect the value of SNAP benefits, maintain and increase equitable access to SNAP and nutrition education, and streamline SNAP program administration to increase cost efficiencies while improving access to benefits, and access to nutritious, fresh, and local food.

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