How to increase hunger and hurt the economy

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Nearly 1.9 million Illinoisans can afford groceries thanks to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, our nation’s most effective anti-hunger program, which provides access to healthy food for our low-income neighbors in need. Yet this vital assistance is under attack, imperiling individuals and families and important economic benefits to our communities. The recently released House Agriculture Committee farm bill would significantly weaken the program and increase hunger here and across the U.S. The proposed bill calls for cutting more than $20 billion in SNAP benefits over the next 10 years. The program would be radically restructured by mandating that all non-disabled adults aged 18 to 59, including some parents of minors, work at least 20 hours per week or participate in an employment and training program. We can all agree helping people who can work get well-paying jobs is an important goal, but adding cruel and restrictive SNAP work requirements won’t get us there.