UnidosUS: Amid Rising Hunger, Chairman Thompson’s Farm Bill Proposal Would Cut Crucial SNAP Benefits for Latino Families

Washington, DC – As Congress considers reauthorization of the Farm Bill, a critical piece of legislation that shapes American agriculture and nutrition policy for years to come, House Agriculture Committee Chairman “G.T.” Thompson’s proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) threaten to undermine this vital support system and deepen the hunger crisis in Latino communities.

A new report released by UnidosUS shows how the proposal would harm millions of Latino families. The report includes the first review of the number of Latinos participating in SNAP in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“For many families across the United States, the rising cost of food and necessities, coupled with post-pandemic cuts to SNAP benefits, has created serious problems paying for food,” said Stan Dorn, Director of Health Policy for UnidosUS. “Even most distressing is the rising number of Latino families who find themselves unable to feed their families. The Chairman argues that his proposal doesn’t cut SNAP benefits, but the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office disagrees, forecasting a substantial drop. Instead of slashing SNAP benefits, policymakers should bolster this vital lifeline, ensuring that benefits are adequate to meet the cost of a nutritious diet.”

Every month, SNAP is a lifeline for more than 40 million Americans, providing critical nutrition assistance to help families put food on the table. For the Latino community, SNAP is particularly important, with more than 5 million Hispanic children and 5 million Hispanic adults relying on the program for food according to the most recent national statistics.

Despite high food costs, rising levels of hunger, and SNAP benefits that just took a major hit, the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee proposes further cuts in SNAP benefits, making it even harder for millions of hard-working Latinos to feed their families. According to new research by the Urban Institute, nearly two in five Latino adults report not having enough food to eat—more than in any other ethnic or racial group, and significantly more than in the past.

The proposal makes these cuts by forbidding the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from taking any factor other than inflation into account when it updates the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), which is used to set SNAP benefits. This would force USDA to ignore all other changes in how Americans buy, prepare, and consume their food. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this change would cut benefits by $30 billion over the next decade. In its initial years, the proposal would take an entire day’s worth of food away from the average family each month. By the end of the decade, each family would lose nearly two days’ worth of food per month.