On June 10, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing, “Past, Present, and Future of SNAP: The Means to Climbing the Economic Ladder.” This was the latest in a series of hearings on nutrition assistance programs, in general, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), in particular (see The Source, 5/22/15, 5/22/15, and 3/20/15).
Elisabeth D. Babcock, MCRP, PhD, president and CEO, Crittenton Women’s Union (CWU), said, “Moving out of poverty is no longer a process of following a simple roadmap to a good job. It is a complex, multi-year process that requires families to maintain stability, optimize money management, gain post-secondary education and/or training, [and] find their way into a family-sustaining career – all at the same time.” After detailing the efforts of the CWU, Dr. Babcock concluded her testimony by saying, “The current system of public assistance can help poor families survive but is not designed to bring families to economic self-sufficiency. Based on our work, we believe it is possible to move some people to become fully self-sufficient but it takes significant time, well-trained staff, and a program model that recognizes the complexity of people’s lives. While our goal is to help people become as independent as possible, the safety net plays a critical role in stabilizing families so that they can begin the process of setting short and long-term goals that will lead them to a place where they can survive independent of safety net programs and supports.”
The following witnesses also testified: