Yesterday, Voices for Children Economic Stability and Health Policy Coordinator Aubrey Mancuso testified in support of LB 411, which raises gross income limits in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Voices for Children supports LB 411 because it takes steps to improve SNAP in a way that encourages steps toward longer term financial security. The SNAP program is an important work-support that helps prevent children from going hungry when their parents are struggling financially. About half of all SNAP participants in Nebraska are kids, and adequate nutrition is particularly important for children because it plays a critical role in healthy development.
We know that there is a gap between the poverty line and what it takes for a family to meet all of its basic needs. This bill is another mechanism for addressing the “cliff effect” in our public programs that serves as a disincentive to improve one’s financial circumstance.
LB 411 will assist low-income families who have high child care costs by allowing them to still qualify for the SNAP program if they receive a small increase in gross income. This is a practical programmatic change because it encourages working families to increase their earning potential while ensuring that their children are fed as they make the transition to increased financial stability.