March 10, 2023

Reps. Lee, Adams Introduce Improving Access to Nutrition Act

Washington, DC – Reps. Barbara Lee (CA-12) and Alma Adams (NC-12) reintroduced the Improving Access to Nutrition Act, which seeks to lift the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’s (SNAP) three-month limit and ensure that all Americans have access to nutritious food and the ability to stay healthy in everyday life. 

The Improving Access to Nutrition Act would be monumental in feeding millions of Americans across the United States already using SNAP. Passing this legislation would help bring much-needed food security to those in need. The USDA has recorded that more than 34 million people, including 9 million children, are struggling with food insecurity in the United States. The belief is that we need to do the work and put people over politics, as all Americans deserve stability in their homes. 

“We must act now to repeal a punitive and arbitrary SNAP time limit requirement that limits access to SNAP for adults aged 18-49, deemed ‘able-bodied,’ and have no dependent children,” said Congresswoman Lee. “People who report an insufficient amount of work hours are generally prohibited from receiving more than 3 months of SNAP benefits over a 36-month period in an effort to minimize unemployment. Research finds that relinquishing access to SNAP benefits only forces people into hunger, not job security.” 

She continued, “In September of 2021, the Department of Agriculture issued guidance on the SNAP time limit for able-bodied adults without dependents after its suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  When the temporary suspension ends, approximately 6.1 million individuals will be subject to SNAP time limits and will be at risk of losing critical food assistance. Creating barriers to food access that don’t help anybody in our communities with safety or security.”

 "Our world and our workforce have been permanently changed by the pandemic. SNAP must adapt to the new normal continue to support American families," said Congresswoman Adams. "Due to an arbitrary rule, up to 6 million Americans are in danger of losing their benefits and going hungry when pandemic assistance expires. Passing the Improving Access to Nutrition Act will ensure that we keep families healthy and fed, so they can pursue a career, continuing education, job training, and more. No one should ever go hungry in the greatest country in the world, and that’s why I’m proud to join a champion for working families, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, in introducing the Improving Access to Nutrition Act.”

Endorsing Organizations: Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), MAZON | A Jewish Response to Hunger, Feeding America, California Association of Food Banks, Alameda County Community Food Bank, GRACE/End Child Poverty California

Original Cosponsors: Reps. Bonamici; DelBene; DeSaulnier; Panetta; Meng; Titus; Auchincloss; Thompson; Jayapal; Sablan; Chu; Scanlon; Watson Coleman; Blumenauer; Cardenas; Carbajal; Clarke; Jackson Lee; Levin; Jacobs; Smith; Cohen; Williams; Carson; Moore; Wilson; Pallone; Casar; Gomez


Congresswoman Lee is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. She serves as Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. As a member of the Steering and Policy Committee, she is the highest ranking Black woman appointed to House Leadership.