Trump Budget Would See Oklahoma Spend $1.5B on SNAP (Public Radio Tulsa)

By Matt Trotter

President Trump’s budget would put a substantial burden on Oklahoma to make sure poor families are fed.

The president proposes cutting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funding 25 percent, or $193 billion, over 10 years. Earlier this year, House Republicans proposed cutting SNAP 20 percent over the next decade.

“Because 93 percent of SNAP spending goes directly to food assistance, a cut of that size would require restricting SNAP eligibility for needy people, slashing benefits or both,” Carly Putnam with the Oklahoma Policy Institute said in January.

That could mean more kids go hungry.

“Children receiving SNAP are more likely to be healthier than low-income nonparticipants and do better in school,” Putnam said. “And we know that from greater economic self-sufficiency to better health, for low-income children, SNAP reaps dividends well into adulthood.”

Most of the federal cut comes from making states pay a 25 percent annual share of SNAP benefits in five years. For Oklahoma, that’s $221 million.

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma CEO Katie Fitzgerald said that’s untenable, given the current funding mix.

“If you look at all the food assistance in the state, 94 percent of the money we spend on food assistance and feeding Oklahomans is federal money,” Fitzgerald said. “Six percent is the private, nonprofit sector.”

Currently, one in seven Oklahomans rely on SNAP benefits.


Margaret (Maggie) den Harder obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Theology from Seattle Pacific University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma. Originally from the Pacific Northwest area of Washington state, Maggie has called Tulsa home for the past 8 years. Since living in Tulsa, Maggie has worked in the legal field, higher education administration, and the nonprofit sector as well as actively volunteering in the community. Maggie also recently spent time at the City of Tulsa as a consultant and wrote the content for Resilient Tulsa, an action-oriented strategy designed to better equity in Tulsa. Through her work, community involvement, and personal experiences, Maggie is interested in the intersection of the law and mental health and addiction treatment issues, preventative and diversion programs, and maternal mental health, particularly post-partum depression and post-partum psychosis. While working at Oklahoma Policy Institute as a research intern, Maggie further developed an interest in family dynamics and stability, economic security-related stress, and intergenerational trauma.

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