HB 338 — Human Services – Food Supplements (Summer SNAP for Children Act)

Committee: House Appropriations

Position: Support

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.

House Bill 338 provides additional, state-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to families who both currently receive federal SNAP benefits and have a child or children under the age of nineteen still in the household. For each child, an additional benefit of $30 per month must be given during the summer months and an additional $10 must be given in December. To fund this effort, the Governor is required to include two million dollars in his Fiscal Year 2021 budget for the supplements, and an additional $500,000 each year after that.

The Conference consistently supports legislation that upholds the needs of families, especially when the efforts are focused on alleviating the effects of poverty felt by the most vulnerable in our state. House Bill 338 provides modest monthly food benefit coverage during the times when a child is not in school, such as summer vacation and winter break. Often for families facing elevated levels of poverty, schools play an outsized role in providing healthy meals for children, and sometimes are the only meals that a child will get in a day. The parts of the year where not only are children not receiving meals at school but also families have additional mouths to feed are an enormous financial burden, and House Bill 338 aims to ease this struggle.

The Conference appreciates your consideration and, for these reasons, respectfully requests a favorable report on House Bill 338.