The State Nutrition Assistance Flexibility Act
The federal government currently operates around 70 different means-tested welfare programs. Of those, 17 are intended to provide food and nutrition assistance to various sections of the population, with Food Stamps (SNAP) being the most well-known. In an effort to begin making this jumble of programs more effective and more affordable, members of the Republican Study Committee have introduced legislation to combine the 6 food welfare programs contained within the Farm Bill into a single block grant to the states.
H.R. 1355, The State Nutrition Assistance Flexibility Act was introduced by Rep. Tim Huelskamp (KS-01), and would replace the following six food welfare programs:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
- Community Food Projects
- Commodity Supplemental Food Program
- Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program
- Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP)
States will have maximum flexibility to implement food welfare programs tailored to the needs of their own populations. Additionally, the legislation creates a work activation program for able-bodied adults without dependents, which includes training and work placement. States are required to maintain minimum participation levels in the work activation program.
Federal funding for this combined block grant would return to 2008-levels. Use of the funds will be subject to annual, independent audits that shall be made available to the U.S. Treasury Secretary, the state legislatures, and the general public. To encourage proactive efforts to root out waste, fraud, and abuse, misused funds must be repaid to American taxpayers with an additional 10% penalty. Funds may not be used to purchase alcohol, tobacco, or other items prohibited by current law.
Americans for Prosperity
The Force Blog