Letter to the Editor: Economics of SNAP

To the Editor:
House File 3 revises the SNAP program:
1. Adds an asset test.  Households cannot possess more than $2750 worth of assets, excluding their house and one vehicle (even if there are two working people in the household), or $4,250 if there is at least one member of the household with a disability or age 60+.
2. Adds a work component of 20 hours per week, with a few exceptions.
3. Limits the foods eligible to be purchased with SNAP funds to WIC approved foods (no meat, fresh vegetables or fruits).
4. Will contribute to additional hunger in Allamakee County.

Who will this affect in Allamakee County?
• 874 individuals, 393 households, who now receive SNAP benefits
• Over 50% of those on SNAP are children or elderly
• Monthly benefits of $152, or only $1.69/meal
• Economic impact of SNAP is over $200,000 for Allamakee County.

Why is the Iowa Legislature considering this bill?
When I talked with Anne Osmundson, she told me it was to limit fraud. However, the fraud rate for SNAP in 2021 was 0.9%. SNAP has one of the lowest fraud rates of the governmental social programs.

What are these revisions going to cost?
Who is going to collect all the asset information, check the clients’ income tax, property tax records, bank accounts, vehicle registrations, and verify work hours? This will cost more than the State will save in reducing the small amount of fraud.
Call Anne Osmundson tell her “no” to House File 3.

Ann Fields
Former President of
William Penn University