In Broad, Diverse Coalition, ASAM Endorses the RESTORE Act of 2023 to Support SNAP Benefits
On May 12th, ASAM endorsed the bipartisan and bicameral Re-Entry Support Through Opportunities for Resources and Essentials Act (the "RESTORE Act"), which would remove the federal ban prohibiting individuals with felony drug convictions from receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The RESTORE Act would also codify a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administrative waiver for SNAP state agencies to allow individuals who are incarcerated to apply for SNAP benefits up to 30 days prior to release.
Those who are recently released from incarceration are much more likely to experience food insecurity than the general population. Food insecurity has a major effect on all facets of an individual’s post-incarceration life, including their employment opportunities and capacity to provide for loved ones. By extending access to SNAP's sweeping anti-poverty programs, individuals who are formerly incarcerated will be less likely to fall into the grips of material deprivation and despair upon reentry. Additionally, ASAM’s support for the RESTORE Act is a critical racial justice issue. Federal and state drug policy enforcement has disproportionately impacted Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC). The RESTORE Act would help to right these historical wrongs, and enable individuals to access public benefits and services to stabilize their situation upon release.
The RESTORE Act has support from a diverse and active alliance of more than 150 organizations.
Read the legislation here and a one-page summary of the bill here.