If you’ve seen the news lately, you might have heard about the Farm Bill currently in Congress. The House Committee on Agriculture passed a proposed bill out of committee and expects a vote sometime in May. Meanwhile on the Senate side, lawmakers are still in discussion about what their proposal will entail. Many in workforce development are paying attention. Why? Because the next Farm Bill may significantly change the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training provisions (SNAP E&T).
Here’s why SNAP and SNAP E&T matters to Goodwill® advocates: SNAP serves about 44 million people each year, including about 16 million children.
- Adults enrolled in SNAP who are not otherwise exempt (due, for example, to disability status) must work
- People who are enrolled in SNAP often face multiple barriers to steady work including gaps in education, training, and skilled experience and require a comprehensive approach to attain independence
- Local Goodwill organizations served at least 28,000 people through SNAP E&T programs in 2017, each organization using its experience and focus on the local community to build programs that work for job seekers, helping them to build skills that build their economic resilience.
The debate over SNAP E&T tends to pit beliefs against one another: that of holding people accountable for their own independence against that of caring for our fellow neighbors in times of need. However if being at Goodwill seven years has taught me one thing, it is that we can encourage independence while showing compassion for those with barriers to work. If you agree and support investments in education, employment, and training to reduce poverty and help people succeed, take action with us now.