Sending Office: Honorable Steve Cohen
Sent By:

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Cosponsors: Adams, Barragán, Carson, Holmes Norton, Rush, and Thompson 

Dear Colleague,

Each year, thousands of people are released from state and federal prisons in the United States. Individuals with prior drug felony convictions face significant challenges when they reenter their communities, including restrictions or lifetime bans on food
assistance under SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs. Most states have opted to alter or remove such bans, but lingering barriers to SNAP and TANF continue to hinder returning citizens
and expose them to higher risks of recidivism.

To address this problem, I am introducing the Making Essentials Affordable and Lawful (MEAL) Act, which would lift these restrictions for people with prior felony drug convictions. Further, this bill would codify the United States Department of Agriculture
(USDA) waiver that allows currently incarcerated individuals to apply for SNAP up to 30 days before they are released, ensuring that they will be able to meet their basic needs as soon as they reenter society.

We invite you to join us in becoming a cosponsor of the MEAL Act.  To learn more or to become a cosponsor, please contact Merrilee Rogers in Congressman Cohen’s office at




Steve Cohen

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Agriculture, Civil Rights, Economy

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