Heat and Eat: New Jersey Legislature Responds To Protect SNAP
A number of months ago it was disclosed that tens of thousands low income New Jersey families again faced possible cuts in their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (previously known as food stamps). On June 26 the New Jersey Legislature passed legislation to avoid the cuts by tailoring New Jersey policy to requirements spelled out in the federal Farm Bill passed by Congress and signed by the President earlier this year.
The New Jersey bill, A2956, sometimes referred to as the "Heat and Eat bill" passed both the Assembly and State Senate overwhelmingly. A reprint of the bill is available at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2014/Bills/A3000/2956_R2.PDF. An independent evaluation of the legislation is also available online by the Office of Legislative Services.A number of articles have appeared in the past few weeks and months, written by various advocacy groups on the 'Heat and Eat' issue. Together, they provide a compelling story about new, threatened safety net cuts for New Jersey families. Selected articles are:
- Overburdened NJ Food Pantries Challenged To Feed More Hungry Clients by Hank Kalet, July 7, 2014
- NJFA Supports Heat and Eat from the New Jersey Foundation for Aging, June 27, 2014
- Heat & Eat Legislation Passed with Bi-Partisan Support, from the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey, June 26, 2014
- Four Reasons New Jersey Should Maintain its 'Heat and Eat' Program Times of Trenton Op-Ed by Raymond Castro, May 26, 2014
- Heat and Eat: State Responses to the Changed Federal Law, Food Research and Action Center, March 21, 2014
- How to Avoid Food Stamp Cuts to 160,000 New Jersey Households NJ Spotlight Op-Ed by Raymond Castro, March 12, 2014
The bill now awaits action by Governor Christie.