As a registered dietitian nutritionist and a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, I am deeply concerned about the recent proposed rule that would not only take Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits away from three million people, but will also jeopardize access to free school meals for 500,000 children.
SNAP plays a critical role in addressing food insecurity and hunger. In North Dakota, this rule will affect 17 percent of SNAP households – that is 4,112 households.
The Academy believes that having access to enough food to live an active, healthy life is a fundamental right. Eliminating access to SNAP puts these households at greater risk for food insecurity, which is tied to higher rates of chronic disease, including diabetes and high blood pressure. Children who are food insecure face an increased rate of developmental challenges, anxiety, depression and chronic disease.
On Sept. 23, the Academy submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture administration calling for the withdrawal of this proposal. I join my fellow registered dietitian nutritionists in urging the policymakers, including Senators (John) Hoeven and (Kevin) Cramer, to tell the administration that the proposed rule is detrimental to the health of members of our community.