As an employee of a small nonprofit that helps feed hungry children, I witness food insecurity every day. When I deliver food to a school’s pantry, teachers tell me that numerous students dread long weekends or vacations because there is simply not enough food in their household to last until school is back in session.

Right now in Washington, D.C., our lawmakers are considering a farm bill that would subject more students to that dread and struggle. The farm bill under consideration would impose stricter work requirements for adults without children to qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

There are countless reasons why many struggling Mainers have difficulty affording food: lack of job opportunities, low wages, inability to afford an automobile, inadequate mass transit in the metro areas and none in the rural areas. Many of them live in shared households that include children. Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric that this will only affect adults without children. More children will definitely go hungry if this SNAP benefit change is implemented.

As they currently exist, SNAP benefits are woefully inadequate. We should be increasing SNAP benefits to all qualified applicants. Sixteen percent of Maine households, including one in five Maine children, are already food insecure in 2018.

Let’s tell our lawmakers that we won’t stand for this.

Stephen Perazone