We’re all looking for good deals at the store, as referenced in a recent Deseret News article published May 9, “A guide to cheaper foods in grocery stores despite inflation,” but we can’t solve the problem of American food insecurity with clever shopping alone.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is our nation’s flagship nutrition program. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, SNAP lifted 42,000 people above the poverty line in Utah, including 21,000 children per year between 2014 and 2018.

This year, we have a chance to improve SNAP when the U.S. Farm Bill is reauthorized. We can improve access to fresh produce for people experiencing poverty. We can eliminate barriers to SNAP for marginalized populations, including ending the SNAP ban for former drug offenders and eliminating work requirements for low-income college students. I urge Sens. Mitt Romney and Mike Lee to include these improvements and support a farm bill that builds healthy and equitable food systems. 

Cynthia Changyit Levin

Author/activist

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St. Louis, Missouri

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