ABAWD: Take Action by April 2

Hands Off SnapThe US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is looking to impose stricter rules on the largest food assistance program in the country, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), specifically for childless adults who are having trouble finding work.

This new rule would cut SNAP benefits by $15 billion over ten years for over 775,000 adults, including tens of thousands of individuals here in Massachusetts. This would mean Americans who are having a hard time looking for a job would face yet another challenge – looking for their next meal.

But first, they’re asking for you to weigh in. And they’re going to listen: USDA must read and answer every unique comment they receive on this idea. So, we need your help: Tell USDA that punishing Americans looking for jobs with stricter rules on food assistance will only lead to more people going hungry in our country.

The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is gravely concerned about the increasing emphasis on work requirements and how they will increase food insecurity in our communities. Read our full comment to USDA here.

Join GBFB in speaking out against these harmful changes before the comment deadline on April 2! Here’s how to take action:

  1. Submit your comments!
  2. Write formal comments on behalf of your organization.

Wait, what’s an “ABAWD”? How does this impact my community? What can I do?

If you’re asking yourself these or any other questions about this population, this rule, and how you can help, read Feeding America’s Policy Brief and Talking Points.

Long story short: Under the current rules, able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) can get food assistance through SNAP for only three months if they’ve lost their job or are only working part-time. After three months, recipients cannot access SNAP benefits for three years. States can choose to extend that help an additional year if there aren’t any jobs in a person’s community. USDA is proposing to take flexibility away from states and cut off a lifeline for those who are looking for work or working part-time.

We need your help to demonstrate widespread opposition to this deeply troubling rule that would limit state flexibility to address fluctuating economic circumstances and worsen food insecurity in our communities.

If you have questions, please contact Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Catherine Drennan, at

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