I recently visited Bruce Poliquin’s Washington, D.C., office to voice my objection to cuts that will drastically reduce the number of people who can access help putting food on their tables through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. I’m pretty certain he was there last Tuesday, but he certainly wasn’t open to seeing a Mainer. I also left a written statement, but I have not heard a word from him or his office since visiting.

If the bill passes the way it is written, working-age people with no children under the age of 6 who are not deemed disabled will be required to work at least 20 hours a week and report their income monthly in order to maintain benefits. Failure to produce employment paperwork because of a cut in hours or being in between jobs would result in the loss of benefits of up to three years.

This bill will cause working people who make less than optimal wages for the hours they work to lose more benefits, as if they are receiving too much in food assistance already. There are some seniors and working disabled folks who already receive such nominal amounts in food assistance that it is not worth keeping up on the paperwork to do so.

You may be totally unaware that your neighbor is receiving SNAP benefits, but over 75,000 of Maine’s 501,000 households receive food assistance.

Please contact Rep. Poliquin and Sen. Susan Collins, and tell them you object to these proposed cuts to the SNAP program through the Farm Bill. It is morally reprehensible that Poliquin’s rich supporters line their pockets with tax breaks while our children go to bed hungry at night. Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen.

Marie Pineo

South Portland

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