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We’re Suing the Trump Administration. Here’s Why.

For more than 40 years, Bread for the City has been supporting, standing up for, and fighting alongside District residents living on low income. It’s not always easy, but it’s always necessary. And sometimes, this means standing up to powerful people inside and outside the city — including the most powerful people in the world. 

With our partners at the Legal Aid Society of DC and Alston & Bird, in January 2020 we filed suit against the Trump Administration over new restrictions to  SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. By our calculation, a new rule aimed at Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) that eliminates states’ ability to apply for waivers based on high unemployment rates (waivers that the District has had since 1997), will impact upwards of 13,050 DC residents. That’s 90% of all qualifying ABAWDs in DC.

This is the third recent SNAP rule that the USDA has advanced, all of which are aimed at restricting access to SNAP by adding barriers for states, schools, and community partners as we attempt to meet the needs of low-income individuals and families. If fully implemented, the cumulative result of this Administration’s harmful policies will be millions of low-income individuals and families losing access to food and increasing the risk of hunger for those already struggling. This is why Bread for the City is working with partners to fight back.

As I said publicly, we are beyond disappointed in the Trump Administration’s harmful work requirement restrictions to SNAP. The strokes of the pen have a major impact on people’s lives. As one of our board members, Marnette Chase reminded me, “It’s all so stressful. You don’t know if you’re going to get food for the next month.”

We know that these restrictions will harm millions of Americans living on low incomes, and will invariably cause disproportionate suffering for Black and brown people. Implementation of this new rule will lead to increased hunger and need in our client community here in Washington, D.C., including in the long-term health outcomes of those living with food insecurity. That is why we are suing. 

We’ve asked the courts to halt this rule while our lawsuit works its way through the system. 

To those of you in the Bread for the City Community, your support allows us to do this important work. Thank you. As this progresses, we’ll keep you updated.


4 New comments

Stephen Szibler | Reply

Thank you!

Taquiana j | Reply

Hi, I am interested in your program!

    Sonya Springfield | Reply

    Thanks for checking in Taquiana! Why don’t you explore to get started? Right now, Bread for the City is providing food to the DC Mutual Aid Society for delivery to clients during the coronavirus public health emergency. Visit to contact your Mutual Aid Society representative for delivered groceries. Bread for the City’s staff is operating on a modified and remote schedule through Monday, April 27. Our NW Center is available from 8:30 am to 12 noon for scheduled medical visits (Monday – Friday) and representative payee services (Monday / Friday only). I hope this helps! Best wishes!

Em Doug | Reply

Congrats on filing the new lawsuit to protect the rights to food (through SNAP) for Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs)! I’m one of those folks, so I’ll be staying tuned to find out more about it! Thank you BFC and Legal Aid Society of DC!

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