Noting particular concern over the state budget freeze of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, which many New Jersey residents rely on to make ends meet and feed their families, Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington) and Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-Union) released the following joint statement:
“Addressing food insecurity is about strengthening the economy and advancing human potential. In 2017, 1 in every 11 New Jersey residents was a recipient of SNAP benefits and the program kept 155,000 people in the state out of poverty. Not only does this demonstrate the program works, but it shows that with expansion it’s a program with potential for even greater reach.
“Freezing $7 million of SNAP funding is just wrong. It could be the difference between mothers and fathers knowing where their family’s next meal is going to come from. It’s also the difference between having access to a nutritious diet, which in turn translates to better health outcomes statewide.
“Whose side are we on? We’re on the side of low income families, seniors, the disabled, youth and every vulnerable person in New Jersey struggling to put food on their table.
“Whose side are we on? Our budget provided SNAP funding with a budget surplus, but with the $7 million needlessly withheld by the Administration we cannot guarantee food security to those who need it most. The potential cost of the funding freeze for economic prosperity, health and social well-being is tremendous and simply unjustified.
“It’s imperative we invest in our people today, so that they have a chance at success tomorrow. And at the end of the day, this freeze is counterproductive to our shared Democratic goals and initiatives on this issue. We know whose side we’re on.”