1. Action Alert
  2. Economic Justice

Finding God Everywhere, Taking Care of Everyone

Join me in submitting a comment to protect SNAP.

By Christine Ashley, March 19, 2019

As Friends, we open ourselves through prayer to experiencing the presence of God—in the blades of grass, the clouds, and in one another. This practice of opening to experience the ordinary as holy is what drew me to worship among Friends. It leads me to a practice where I am exhorted to treat all others as God-ly.

I hear this call echoed in the words of Matthew 25:40, “…just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

It is hard to reconcile this belief and value with the state of affairs in my home state.

I live in North Carolina, one of the hungriest states in the U.S. I see signs of it all around. Every church I visit is collecting food or offering meals to their community. Carrboro has launched a town-wide initiative to ensure that no child goes hungry. These efforts augment federal programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), which assists millions of individuals and families who struggle to bring food to the table.

I was one of those struggling people in 1996, when I was a single mother. Being on food stamps then helped me access a variety of other programs necessary to meet my basic food, medical, and housing needs. I recall how difficult and demeaning the process was to gain entry in to the program. I know how much has been stripped from the program since that time, and how important SNAP is in the lives of many.

That’s why I was devastated by the Trump administration’s Feb. 1 proposal to restrict states' ability to extend vital food assistance to individuals and families during periods of increased need.

This new attack on SNAP directly contradicts congressional intent as defined in the Farm Bill reauthorization. If this change goes through, more people will go hungry—755,000 people by USDA’s own estimate.

We can stop this attack on people struggling with hunger. Submit a public comment against this proposal before April 2.

Your comments will demonstrate that this proposal has widespread opposition and will serve as a reminder to this administration that “we the people” insist on a government that serves all in need, during our time of need.

Christine Ashley

  • Quaker Field Secretary

Christine Ashley has the honor of nurturing and deepening FCNL’s relationships with Friends across the United States. In this role, Christine develops and sustains FCNL's engagement with individuals both within the Religious Society of Friends and with seekers for the Quaker way of living Faith in to action.