NEW ORLEANS -- The Louisiana State Legislature is currently in a 10-day special session to consider expiring revenue provisions that would cause the state to lose $648 million in general tax dollar revenue. Without additional funding, the Department of Children and Family Services – which is slated to take a $34 million cut – will end the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on January 1, 2019.
The following is a statement from No Kid Hungry Louisiana Director Rhonda Jackson:
“The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a lifeline for thousands of Louisianans who are struggling to make ends meet, especially for families with children, seniors and people with disabilities. The program helps ensure that kids don’t go to school hungry and working families don’t have to decide whether to pay rent or put food on the table. SNAP lifts over 200,000 Louisianans out of poverty each year -- nearly half of them children. Ending the state’s SNAP program would be devastating for Louisiana’s most vulnerable.
As part of the SNAP program, the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or D-SNAP, provides food assistance to families who may not normally receive SNAP benefits, but qualify in the wake of a hurricane, flood, or other natural disaster. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the United States Department of Agriculture issued $680 million to nearly 1.5 million households in 2005. If Louisiana ends its SNAP program, millions of Louisiana families could be unable to get food assistance in the wake of the next storm.
It’s also important to note that SNAP injects more than a billion dollars into Louisiana’s economy. Moody’s Analytics estimates that $1 in SNAP benefit generates about $1.70 in economic activity. In FY16, the federal government allocated $1.4 billion in SNAP benefits to Louisiana. These benefits are spent at grocery stores and farmers markets, bolstering the economy in local communities and supporting farmers, fishers and small businesses.
Louisiana’s SNAP program protects families. It’s good for our economy. It helps ease the pain in the wake of destruction. No state has ever shuttered its SNAP program. It is imperative that our state lawmakers don’t allow Louisiana – a state that’s tied for the highest rate of food insecurity in the nation– to become the first.”
About No Kid Hungry
No child should go hungry in America. But 1 in 6 kids will face hunger this year. No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger through effective programs that provide kids with the food they need. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization working to end hunger and poverty. Join us at NoKidHungry.org.