SNAP eligibility: Why imposing additional work requirements would hurt Latino families

Although Latinos participate in the labor force at higher rates than nearly all other racial and ethnic groups (65.5%), they are often in jobs that do not pay enough to cover basic needs like nutritious food, housing, and health care. If additional requirements are imposed, this would only exacerbate racial disparities in food insecurity and poverty among Americans.  

As Congress moves toward consideration of the Farm Bill and raising the debt ceiling, some lawmakers have revived calls for work requirements for families receiving SNAP. But SNAP eligibility is already subject to strict work requirements, and there is increasing evidence that work requirements increase economic hardship and food insecurity without improving employment or wages. 

Imposing additional work requirements would only hurt Latino families since: 

  • Most SNAP participants already work but have poverty-level incomes from poorly paying jobs and experience barriers to reporting adequate work hours. 
  • Additional work requirements just add needless and burdensome paperwork for families and administrators. 
  • The push for work requirements is based on a longstanding and racist myth about the “undeserving poor.” 

Given SNAP’s critical role in addressing gaps in nutrition access while strengthening economic security for low-income Americans, it must be protected and supported, not further burdened. Policymakers must reject attempts to kick hardworking families off SNAP. They should instead focus on investing in programs that have been proven to promote work and lift Americans out of poverty. 

Click here to learn more about the effects of imposing additional work requirements in SNAP. You can also access our various resources on this issue, such as the end of SNAP emergency allotments social media toolkit and latest publications here. 

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