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To the Editor:

If we want our communities to thrive and remain vibrant, we must maximize the human potential of all our residents. This potential is realized when people experience social, emotional, financial and physical wellness. Programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), promote community well-being, ensuring that individuals and families have adequate food and nutrition. Yet this program is in jeopardy as Congress works to pass a new farm bill that could cut billions from SNAP.

Historically, policymakers have maintained and strengthened food security through SNAP. This year, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill that protects SNAP and supports evidence-based initiatives to help more people find work, while the House passed a partisan bill that would cut $19 billion from the program. These cuts would be detrimental to the well-being of our communities, so we urge our policymakers to ensure the final farm bill includes the Senate’s SNAP provisions.

Our society is stronger when we support well-being. SNAP provides food assistance to 8 million people across the country, including 2 million Illinoisans. Locally, SNAP helps more than 20 percent of Southern Illinois households put food on the table in Senate District 12. Moreover, SNAP boosts our local economy with an economic multiplier of 1.8 on each SNAP dollar spent at local grocery stores and farmers markets.

We urge our elected officials to continue the responsible use of our resources and commit to passing a bipartisan farm bill that promotes well-being by protecting and strengthening SNAP.

Kate Fakhoury

Illinois Partners for Human Service

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