The Maryland Catholic Conference (“Conference”) represents the public-policy interests of the three Roman Catholic (arch)dioceses serving Maryland: the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.
HB 445 allows the State to provide a specified supplement to a household that receives a federally funded benefit in an amount less than $30 per month under the food stamp program and requires the Department of Human Resources (DHR) to notify the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) within 5 days after the federal government fully funds a minimum benefit of at least $30 under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Maryland is the wealthiest state in the country, yet one in eight Marylanders face food insecurity. Even with programs such as Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) and SNAP, far too many people face hunger on a regular basis. Specific to SNAP, a significant barrier to people accessing this helpful program is the low minimum benefit of $16 per month. For many people, the application process is simply not worth going through for the $16 per month that they will receive if they are only eligible for the minimum benefit. This legislation is essential because raising the minimum monthly benefit to $30 would eliminate a barrier to accessing food assistance and ending hunger in Maryland.
Pope Francis said, “It is a scandal that there is still hunger and malnutrition in the world! It is not a question of responding to immediate emergencies, but of addressing together, at all levels, a problem that challenges our personal and social conscience, in order to achieve a just and lasting solution.” We hope that you will help address the persistent problem of hunger in Maryland by raising the minimum SNAP benefit.
The Conference appreciates your consideration and urges you to support HB 445.