In July, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed a rule change that would eliminate the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)’s broad-based categorical eligibility (BBCE). This week, the San Antonio Chamber submitted comments opposing the changes since health, education, and workforce are priorities for our community and impact our competitiveness. A copy of our letter can be accessed here.
Under current law, states may establish BBCE policies that enable households receiving a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) – funded non-cash benefit to qualify for SNAP by meeting the financial criteria of the TANF-funded program rather than federal SNAP criteria. Analysis funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds that 15% of SNAP households in Texas would lose eligibility with the proposed rule change.
In Bexar County, it is estimated that more than 11% of households are faced with food insecurity. This proposed change would also affect enrollment in free and reduced lunches in our schools, possibly impacting thousands across our school districts. Studies show that hunger affects a child’s ability to concentrate and learn. For more information on the impact of hunger, visit Feeding America’s website.