Food Security

Individuals and families who qualify for SNAP (formerly known as the food stamp program) and TANF (income support program, sometimes referred to as welfare) are generally living at or far below the poverty line. Having access to safety net supports such as SNAP and TANF is essential to prevent food insecurity for individuals with criminal legal histories and their families.

To help ensure that people with criminal legal histories and/or who are returning from incarceration have access to food and basic support, the Reentry Working Group has advocated for:

  • Full repeal of the ban on SNAP and TANF benefits for individuals with a drug felony conviction;                                                                                                         
  • Full repeal of the ban on SNAP and TANF benefits for individuals with a drug felony conviction;

  • Passage of the Re-Entry Support Through Opportunities for Resources and Essentials (RESTORE) Act, which would repeal the federal lifetime ban on individuals convicted of a drug felony from accessing SNAP and codify the USDA waiver that permits individuals to reinstate SNAP assistance up to 30 days prior to release from incarceration.

SNAP is the primary source of nutrition assistance for many low-income people, providing important nutritional support for low-paid working families, older adults with low incomes, and people with disabilities living on fixed incomes. Repealing the SNAP drug felony ban promotes successful reentry, strengthens families and communities, and improves public safety.


Fact sheet in support of the RESTORE Act and for repealing the SNAP Drug Felony Ban in the 2023 Farm Bill, created in 2023 by Drug Policy Alliance. Download here

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