HR 2, the House Farm Bill, proposes to massively expand counterproductive and punitive “work requirements” for CalFresh recipients. For people age 18 to 59, including
parents with children over age 6, the bill would cut off food assistance if they can’t prove every month that they are working an average of 20 hours per week. If a person can’t prove they meet these requirements, they are banned from SNAP/CalFresh for one year, and for three years the second time.
Strict Requirements Are Unworkable for Many Low-Wage Workers
Most SNAP participants who can work, do work,1 but many low-wage part-time workers have no control over their work schedules.2 Consider a single mother with two children working as a restaurant server earning minimum wage and scheduled to work 25 hours per week. The restaurant is having a slow day, so she is released without advance notice, cutting her work week down to 18 hours. She loses her CalFresh assistance and is banned from assistance for one year, even though she is doing everything she can to work. Cutting off vital food assistance for struggling households does not support gainful employment.
Learn more by reading CFPA’s Farm Bill Work Requirements fact sheet. PDF
What’s next in the Farm Bill process?
House Republicans are currently counting votes and are looking to bring the bill to the House Floor for a full vote soon, possibly as soon as the week of May 14th. Now is a critical time for all Californians fighting against hunger to make their voices heard in opposition to these harmful proposals. For instructions on how to contact your Representative, and a short sample script to use, please see our recent call to action on HR 2.
CalFresh helps alleviate hunger and poverty in every California congressional district. Learn more about the importance of protecting and strengthening CalFresh in the Farm Bill by viewing and sharing CFPA’s Farm Bill and CalFresh Congressional District Fact Sheets.
Questions? Contact: Jared Call at 213.482.8200 ext 201
1. “Making SNAP Work Requirements Harsher Will Not Improve Outcomes for Low-Income People,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Available at https://www.cbpp.org/research/food-assistance/making-snap-work-requirements-harsher-will-not-improve-outcomes-for-low
2. “Hour Crisis – Unstable Work Hours in the Los Angeles Retail Sector,” UCLA Labor Center and Los Angeles Area Alliance for a New Economy. Available at http://laane.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Hour-Crisis-Unstable-Schedules-in-the-Los-Angeles-Retail-Sector.pdf