KUNM

Advocate Says Repetition Dampens Turnout For SNAP Hearings

Dec 11, 2015

The Human Services Department is once again trying to expand work requirements for people who use the food stamps program. But fatigue on this issue might be dampening community response.

The last several hearings about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program have been full of vocal opponents. But at the most recent hearing? Crickets. That’s according to Louise Pocock of the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty. "It was basically a protest of the state’s complete unwillingness to listen to what the public has already been saying for a year and a half," she said.

Each time the state’s tried to implement new rules, wrangling over procedure and language stopped the process in its tracks, and HSD started over from the beginning.

Pocock said people might not realize that when they drove up to the state capital to register their opinions before, those statements don’t carry over to this round—though very little has changed in the proposal. For their comments to count this time around, folks need to either attend another hearing in Santa Fe on Monday morning, or submit a written statement.

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Hearing

Monday, Dec. 14, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Harold Runnels Auditorium (1190 St. Francis Dr., Santa Fe)

Submit written comments until 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 14, by emailing HSD-isdrules@state.nm.us.

Find more of our past coverage on this issue at publichealthnm.org.