DC to Raise SNAP Payments Despite Doubts

DC to Raise SNAP Payments Despite Doubts

(DailyDig.com) – The District of Columbia will increase funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) after Mayor Muriel Bowser questioned the handling of surplus money.

Bowser reportedly questioned the increase in a statement she issued, according to news reports. She wanted to know whether they should focus on a solution that would help more people in the long run or on a temporary benefit that would only last nine months.

According to Legal Aid DC, about 140,000 people in the nation’s capital use SNAP services each year. The initiative is being bolstered by $40 million of the city’s surplus finances, a scarce resource that Bowser said in December might be better used elsewhere. It would be irresponsible, according to the mayor, to raise funding for one program when the need for other ones that help the same individuals is growing faster than their budget can handle.

On January 3, the city implemented the SNAP hike, as detailed in a statement by Laura Zeilinger, the head of D.C. Health and Human Services. She recommended to the mayor in November that it was in the best interest of citizens to prioritize maintaining important service programs above managing a provisional local SNAP boost. She cited serious financial constraints and workload challenges.

While economic and administrative constraints persist, Zeilinger assured the mayor that DHS would find a way to make the program function despite these obstacles.

After Legal Aid DC threatened to sue Bowser over her apparent upcoming determination not to approve the SNAP raise, she announced the decision. On January 4, they intended to sue over the denial of 39.6 million dollars in food stamps to more than 140,000 low-income people living in the district.

Full implementation of the higher SNAP benefits isn’t about politics, according to Legal Aid DC’s executive director, Vikram Swaruup. For those they serve, it’s about feeding their families. The administration should have followed the law and helped families in need without having to fear a lawsuit.

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