Bipartisan coalition slams USDA order to cut Food Stamps to vulnerable seniors

Members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation joined in bipartisan opposition to an executive order by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue to end SNAP benefits for seniors and the disabled living in supportive living facilities.

In Peoria, these SLF include Courtyard Estates on Western Avenue, Gateway at River City on Romeo B. Garrett Avenue and St. Francis Woods on North Molleck. There are SLFs in every Illinois Congressional District and in 71 counties.

The executive order was issued despite more than 20 years of assistance to residents in SLFs and no evidence of fraud or misuse.

SLFs are designed to help elderly and disabled people who would have trouble using Food Stamps in a grocery store. The program allows institutions to pool SNAP benefits to efficiently provide meals for recipients. The program is designed to allow these recipients to avoid more institutional nursing home settings.

In a letter to Purdue, the delegation objects to benefit cuts to 8,000 vulnerable seniors in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the worst public health crisis in America in a century.

Signatories included Demotratic Sen. Dick Durbin and Sen. Tammy Duckworth and House Representatives Cheri Bustos, D., Daren LaHood, R., Rodney David, R., Raja Krishnamoorthi, D., Jan Schakowsky, D., John Shimkus, R., and Adam Kinzinger, R., among others.

Independent research from the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities consistently finds SNAP benefits to be one of the most effective forms of economic stimulus that quickly injects money into the economy at the same time alleviating food insecurity.

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