The U.S. Federal Food Stamp Program and Its Relationship to Welfare Reform

June 27, 2001

My goal in appearing before you today is to convince the members of this Subcommittee of two important facts about the Food Stamp program. First, even more than in the past, the Food Stamp program has become a vital support to poor and low-income mothers who work. The increase in employment by single mothers since enactment of welfare reform in 1996 has been astounding. In fact, a higher percentage of single mothers are working now than at any time in the past. However, most of the mothers who left welfare for work are earning low wages, usually around $7 per hour. These mothers need all the support they can get, including Food Stamps. Second, the Food Stamp program as presently constituted is failing the majority of these mothers and children.