Marco Rubio Wants to Change How States Get SNAP-Ed Funds

Last week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., brought out the “SNAP Education Allocation Modernization Act.

Rubio offered some of the reasons why he was championing the proposal “to modernize the formula used by SNAP-Ed to determine each state’s allocation without increasing topline spending” as he unveiled the proposal.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed), a program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), educates and provides resources to individuals who are eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The program teaches SNAP recipients about nutrition, obesity prevention, and smart food budgeting decisions. Currently, the funding allocation process uses an outdated formula that relies on SNAP-Ed spending data from 2009, which disadvantages fast-growing states, including Florida,” Rubio’s office noted. “The funds allocated by the USDA currently disadvantage states that have seen recent population increases, such as Florida. In FY2021, Florida accounted for 8.1 percent of SNAP recipients but received only 2.66 percent of SNAP-Ed funding. In contrast, California accounted for 10.4 percent of all SNAP recipients but received 25.9 percent of all SNAP-Ed funding.”

Rubio’s bill would phase SNAP-Ed over five years and the senator’s office insisted it includes a new funding method that would increase SNAP-Ed funds in more than 30 states.

“SNAP-Ed is an important tool, but the current formula used to determine SNAP-Ed funding for each state is outdated and disadvantages most states. There is no reason to continue using an outdated formula based on data from 2009. My SNAP Education Allocation Modernization Act will ensure states receive funding that is responsive to the needs of their residents,” said Rubio.

The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee. So far, there is no House companion and no co-sponsors in the Senate.

Kevin Derby
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