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Dear Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan, and Congressman Young

Read the AFPC’s letter to Senator Lisa Murkowski, Senator Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young


June 16, 2017


The Honorable Lisa Murkowski

United States Senate

522 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510


The Honorable Dan Sullivan

United States Senate

702 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Don Young

United States House of Representatives

2314 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515


Dear Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan, and Congressman Young:

We are writing on behalf of the Alaska Food Policy Council to express our opposition to proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as food stamps). The president’s budget proposes unprecedented cuts to SNAP, and the effects would be detrimental for the 85,000 Alaskans who rely on the program – including children, seniors, working families, veterans, and more.

SNAP not only helps struggling Alaskans, but it supports a healthy food system. SNAP helps agriculture; every year, farmers receive billions of dollars in revenue from SNAP benefits, and every $1 billion of SNAP spending generates thousands of jobs, including an estimated 1,000 new agricultural jobs.

SNAP improves public health. Early access to SNAP can improve long-term health outcomes. Evidence suggests children receiving SNAP are less likely than low-income non-participants to be in poor health. Additionally, adults who had access to SNAP as young children reported better health and had lower rates of nutrition related diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. SNAP increases food expenditures, and higher food expenditures are associated with greater fruit and vegetable consumption among SNAP participants.

SNAP helps local economies. For every $1 spent in federal SNAP benefit, $1.70 is generated in local economic activity. SNAP benefits are modest, but the few dollars a day can make a difference for a hungry family – and for the farmers, fishermen and grocers who supply the food. Cuts to SNAP would result in less spending on produce and healthy foods in local grocery stores, meaning that Alaska’s businesses and farmers would also pay a steep price.

We hope you will continue to oppose deep cuts to SNAP, and reject any efforts to make structural changes to this program (such as block granting) as part of the congressional budget process. Alaska’s farmers and families are counting on you.


Liz Hodges-Snyder, Co-Chair
Lorinda Lhotka, Co-Chair