Shortly after the passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond said she was pleased that the law will safeguard the SNAP program.

“AARP applauds Congress for passing the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018,” LeaMond said. “This legislation protects access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). We are particularly pleased that the bill rejected harmful changes to the law’s work requirements that would have made it harder for older Americans to access SNAP benefits.”

LeaMond said SNAP is a critical program that helps millions of Americans, including older adults, meet their basic nutritional needs. It’s especially important to older Americans who live on fixed incomes with limited money to spend on necessities like food, housing, and medicine. Having access to healthy food allows low-income older adults to better manage chronic illnesses and age in place, which helps reduce costly hospitalizations and nursing home admissions.

“We also applaud Congress for extending the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) certification period and for expanding rural broadband opportunities allowing older American households to use broadband to access telehealth and distance learning services, and enabling people to age-in-place,” she said. “Additionally, we’re pleased that H.R. 2 did not include expansion of association health plans that lack consumer protections.”