SNAP in the Age of Political Chaos

Just Food: Episode 5, Season 2

Release Date: June 16, 2018

Click here for a written transcript of the story.

Many individuals who are eligible for SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, are now fearful of using the program because current nebulous and ever-changing Federal rules have put them in fear of their status as legal residents. New rules that could jeopardize a person’s citizenship status because of SNAP participation have been proposed. Effects of the fear of retaliation by Washington have hurt children the most. This episode examines the drastic changes in SNAP, the largest part of the Farm Bill, and California’s commitment to finding moral high ground. The esteemed Maria Echaveste weighs in on the obligations of government and its citizenry. Berkeley grad Christina Laird describes her experience helping program recipients as a volunteer administrator, and her experience as a participant.

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This podcast was produced by the Berkeley Food Institute in partnership with the UC Berkeley Advanced Media Institute at the Graduate School of Journalism. Producer is Coby McDonald. Editing from Ben Manilla. Program developed by Edmond M. Allmond. Field reporter is Muna Danish. Theme music by Blue Dot Sessions.

obtaining interviews and photos of of participants in the SNAP program (administered as CalFresh in California) is difficult. Great care is taken by offices administering benefits to protect administrators as well.  We are grateful to Christina Laird for agreeing to speak with us on record.