Sending Office: Honorable Alma S. Adams
Sent By:

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Support Strengthening SNAP! 

Be an original cosponsor of the Closing the Meal Gap Act

116th Cosponsors (66): McGovern, Fudge, Kaptur, Lee (CA), Larsen, Jackson Lee, Watson Coleman, Blumenauer, Khanna, McEachin, Welch, Wilson (FL), Davis (CA), Deutch, Cummings, Meng, Holmes Norton, Lawson, Moore, Schakowsky, Langevin,
Ruppersberger, Lofgren, Bernice Johnson, DeLauro, Butterfield, Evans, Velazquez, DeGette, Brown, Kilmer, Moulton, Swalwell, Gomez, Aguilar, Price (NC), Richmond, Lewis (GA), Garamendi, Cárdenas, Cicilline, Sean Patrick Maloney, Barragán, Takano, Doyle, Pallone,
Espaillat, Gonzalez, Rush, Omar, Cohen, Eshoo, Serrano, Chu, Peters, Speier, Pingree, Crist, Jayapal, DeSaulnier, Pocan, Torres, Meeks, Clark, Tonko, and Tlaib.

115th Cosponsors (117): McGovern, Fudge, DeLauro, Evans, Plaskett, DelBene, Holmes Norton, Kaptur, Lee (CA), Larsen, Velazquez, Hastings, Cicilline, Moore (WI), Conyers, Shea-Porter, Deutch, Grijalva, Meeks, Norcross,
Jackson Lee, Butterfield, Watson Coleman, Rush, Richmond, Cohen, Clarke, Lewis (GA), Jayapal, Langevin, Lujan Grisham, Roybal-Allard, Sean Patrick Maloney, Jefferies, Takano, Serrano, Lawson, Blumenauer, Chu, Kennedy, Khanna, Huffman, DeSaulnier, Carson, Moulton,
Katherine Clark, Keating, Smith (WA), Carbajal, Garamendi, Heck, Lieu, Meng, Nadler, Brownley, Davis (CA), Cardenas, Bishop, Pingree, McEachin, Schakowsky, Sanchez, Price (NC), Kilmer, Nolan, Ellison, Veasey, Crist, Hanabusa, Capuano, Matsui, Neal, Gutierrez,
Speier, Welch, Eshoo, Pocan, Schiff, Lofgren, Brady (PA), Ruppersberger, Swalwell, O’Halleran, Tsongas, Lynch, Vargas, Sherman, Doyle, Connolly, Gallego, Esty, Gene Green, Gomez, Brown, Thompson (CA), Lowenthal, Napolitano, Cummings, Espaillat, Bass, Aguilar,
Delaney, Tonko, Raskin, Sarbanes, Torres, Castro, Pallone, Barragan, Bernice Johnson, Correa, Gonzalez, Waters (CA), Carolyn Maloney, DeGette, Peters, and Rice (NY).

Supporting Organizations: The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), Feeding America, Share Our Strength, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, Miami-Dade County, the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative, the NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice,
and RESULTS: The Power to End Poverty.

 Dear Colleague,

Please join me as an original co-sponsor of the Closing the Meal Gap Act of 2019.  Forty million Americans struggle every day to put food on their table, which is why strengthening
the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is more important than ever.

The rising cost of food in America outpaces SNAP benefits each year, forcing families to choose between placing food on the table and covering other important expenses. SNAP benefits provide a mere $1.40 per meal. That’s partially because benefit levels
are based on the Thrifty Food Plan, a restrictive model used to calculate food costs that does not meet the needs of today’s low wage workers and their families. The latest USDA
Household Food Security
 report showed that the typical U.S. household spent 22 percent more on food than Thrifty Food Plan estimates.

Even worse, many low-income seniors receiving SNAP are required to use their Social Security income to pay for food when they have out-of-pocket medical bills totaling more than $35 dollars a month.  While SNAP recipients can request additional medical expense
deductions when applying for benefits, most states require seniors to document every single out-of-pocket medical expense to justify the deduction.  As a result, the medical expense deduction is largely underutilized by elderly and disabled Americans who are
eligible to receive SNAP benefits.

The Closing the Meal Gap Act would raise the baseline benefit for all SNAP households and allocate more funds to those with large medical and housing expenses.

The Closing the Meal Gap Act of 2019 will:

  • Permanently authorize the standard medical deduction in every state for seniors and disabled individuals applying for SNAP benefits at a minimum of $140.  Individuals with high expenses could continue to apply for a higher, itemized medical
  • Incorporate the Low-Cost Food Plan into the SNAP formula to take into account how much working people, including SNAP recipients, spend on food.
  • Eliminate the cap on the Excess Shelter Deduction in the SNAP formula to take into account the cost of living for SNAP recipients in areas with high rent and utilities.
  • Raise the minimum SNAP benefit from $16 to $25 per month.
  • Allow Able-Bodied Adults to be exempt from SNAP work requirements if their state cannot provide them with a slot in a SNAP Employment and Training Program (SNAP E&T).

To be added as an original cosponsor, please contact Katherine Stewart at



Alma S. Adams, Ph.D.

Member of Congress                         


Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Agriculture, Family Issues, Government

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