Trump Budget Would See Oklahoma Spend $1.5B on SNAP

Jun 12, 2017

President Trump’s budget would put a substantial burden on Oklahoma to make sure poor families are fed.

The president proposes cutting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funding 25 percent, or $193 billion, over 10 years. Earlier this year, House Republicans proposed cutting SNAP 20 percent over the next decade.

"Because 93 percent of SNAP spending goes directly to food assistance, a cut of that size would require restricting SNAP eligibility for needy people, slashing benefits or both," Carly Putnam with the Oklahoma Policy Institute said in January.

That could mean more kids go hungry.

"Children receiving SNAP are more likely to be healthier than low-income nonparticipants and do better in school," Putnam said. "And we know that from greater economic self-sufficiency to better health, for low-income children, SNAP reaps dividends well into adulthood."

Most of the federal cut comes from making states pay a 25 percent annual share of SNAP benefits in five years. For Oklahoma, that’s $221 million.

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma CEO Katie Fitzgerald said that’s untenable, given the current funding mix.

"If you look at all the food assistance in the state, 94 percent of the money we spend on food assistance and feeding Oklahomans is federal money," Fitzgerald said. "Six percent is the private, nonprofit sector."

Currently, one in seven Oklahomans rely on SNAP benefits.