DelBene Introduces Bill to Make it Easier for SNAP Participants to Access Job Training
Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) introduced legislation that would make it easier for Americans participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps) to access job training services. SNAP is the federal program that provides nutritional assistance to low-income families so they can put healthy food on the table. The SNAP E&T Enhancements Act (H.R. 5362) would broaden the participant eligibility for the SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) Program, make it easier for states to administer, and increase the types of support provided to participants.
SNAP is our nation’s most important and effective anti-hunger program. The E&T Program is a critical tool for helping SNAP participants gain skills, training, and work experience, increasing their ability to obtain regular employment that leads to economic self-sufficiency. The program also helps to reduce barriers to work by providing support services, such as transportation and child care, as participants prepare for and obtain employment. Each state is required to operate a SNAP E&T program and receives federal funding annually to administer the program.
In fiscal year 2022, over 41 million Americans benefitted from SNAP (12% of the population). In Washington, the state’s SNAP program (Basic Food) supported nearly 875,000 residents (11% of the state population) and over 4,000 Washingtonians participated in the state’s E&T program.
“The E&T Program has been an effective tool in helping Americans on SNAP get the job training, skills, and experience they need to become self-sufficient, but we know this program can do more,” said DelBene. “The legislation I’m introducing today would allow more people to access the E&T Program and support state administration so more people can find full-time employment.”
“SNAP is an essential program that helps people in poverty put food on their tables. For those same people, a strong SNAP Employment & Training Program is a lifeline that helps them gain valuable skills so they can find high-quality jobs that lift them out of poverty,” said Claire Lane, Director, Anti-Hunger & Nutrition Coalition. “This bill makes SNAP E&T better equipped to help more people successfully complete job training with fewer barriers, less red tape, and more opportunity for long-term economic security.”
“When families experiencing hunger seek out services to find a career that can provide family-sustaining wages, we have a responsibility to ensure we are offering the tools they need to succeed,” said Matthew Lyons, Senior Director, Policy & Practice, American Public Human Services Association. “The SNAP E&T Enhancements Act builds upon what’s already working in the SNAP Employment & Training Program to make common sense improvements that will help families transition off of SNAP assistance and achieve economic mobility.”
The SNAP E&T Enhancements Act would:
This legislation is endorsed by the Anti-Hunger & Nutrition Coalition, Northwest Harvest, the WA State Board for Community & Technical Colleges, the American Public Human Services Association, and the Association of Community College Trustees.
More information about the SNAP E&T program can be found here.
Information about Washington state’s Basic Food Employment & Training program can be found here.
The bill text can be found here.