Advocates for Families in Need


211 7th Avenue N, Ste. 100

Nashville, TN 37219

Phone: (615)255-0331 Fax: (615)255-0354

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          For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                                                      

TJC Hails Litigation Protecting SNAP by Blocking the Administration’s Move to take SNAP Away from 700,000 Americans


January 21, 2020 — Last week, a group of 15 states and New York City filed a lawsuit to prevent the Trump administration from implementing a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) rule change that would take food off the tables of nearly 700,000 people, many of whom struggle to find sufficient hours of work in areas with too few jobs. The lawsuit, filed in D.C., challenges a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) rule that would limit states’ ability to provide SNAP benefits beyond a three-month period for certain adults. Should the rule take effect in April 2020, Tennesseans who struggle to find work would have an even harder time getting food assistance.  


In 2017, Tennessee responded to the economic downturn by applying the time limit waivers to 86 out of 95 counties in the state to ensure that individuals struggling to find employment would not go hungry. The waivers allowed the state to lift the three-month limit to SNAP for unemployed and underemployed Tennesseans between the ages of 18-50. 


The litigation, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, alleges that the rule undermines Congressional intent, violates the federal rulemaking process, would impose significant regulatory burdens on states, and would harm states’ residents and economies. 


In response to the litigation, Signe Anderson, Director of Nutrition Advocacy at the Tennessee Justice Center, said, “We are heartened by the lawsuit filed to stop the implementation of a harmful rule that would make it harder for Tennesseans to get food assistance, particularly in economically distressed rural counties. The waiver that the rule would restrict was previously applied during an economic downturn to 86 counties in Tennessee and is a vital safety net feature that protects Tennesseans and the state budget.”  


 The complaint is available online. 


For further information, please contact:

Signe Anderson

Director of Nutrition Advocacy

Tennessee Justice Center