SNAP Policy Debrief

May 16, 2018
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In Spring 2018, the University of Pennsylvania chapter successfully advocated for SNAP funding as well as U.S. strategy in the Middle East. On a Capitol Hill event on April 12th, the staff members met with staffers from the Offices of Senator Udall, Casey, Johnson and Kaine and conducted one-on-one interviews with Senator Reed and Congressman Brady. Summary of our advocacy points for SNAP is provided below:

 

Importance of SNAP 

For more than 50 years, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has played a pivotal role in providing nutritional support for low-wage working families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities.The effects of SNAP are far-reaching as it helps more than 40 million Americans afford a nutritionally adequate diet and lifted 8.4 million people, including 3.8 million children, out of poverty in 2015 alone. SNAP has not only been effective in addressing the issues of malnutrition, food insecurity, and hunger, but also is one of the most efficacious social welfare programs in the nation’s history. 

 

The benefits of SNAP are well demonstrated and distributed to poor children and people of minority backgrounds in the tri-state area where Penn is located. The Philadelphia and Camden areas have experienced industrial decline and economic atrophy, which has left thousands of residents in poverty. SNAP has played a crucial role in helping members of this community put food on the table in such times of hardships.

 

SNAP recipients see higher children’s academic performance than those who are from families that lost the benefits. African Americans and Latin Americans who are disproportionately more food insecure and see comparatively lower income are also key demographics that benefit from the food stamp program. Preservation of SNAP funding is essential to alleviating the economic burden and stress for the working and low-income families across the United States. 

PPC Strategy

While PPC cannot share the precise tactics and strategies that were employed for this critical advocacy event, the members received an overwhelmingly positive response from Capitol Hill staffers. In addition to statistics and macroeconomic studies, PPC found and presented personal stories of Penn students who were recipients of SNAP. Narratives that the organization brought helped staffers understand the importance of this policy to young students who come from lower economic strata or minority background.

PPC also engaged in a national outreach program to receive 1-3 line quotes from some of the most prominent professors who specialize in social policy and SNAP. Off-the-record quotes helped PPC staff members present experts' perspective on this issue and speak with heightened credibility.

Client and Partner

Penn Education Society was PPC's client and partner for SNAP.The letter and language that PPC presented on behalf of Penn Education Society reads: (shown above in image)