November 1, 2019 — Last month, five federal courts issued preliminary injunctions to block implementation of the “public charge” rule — a change that would punish immigrant families that receive support through programs like Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP), and Supplemental Nutrition for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
No family should have to decide between putting food on the table and securing long-term stability for themselves and their families. But that’s exactly what would have happened under this rule change.
Thankfully, our voices had an impact! The courts ruled that families would immediately suffer irreparable harm if this change moved forward. One judge specifically cited that the breadth and scope of the comments submitted by so many — including Oregon Food Bank and our allies and partners — detailed the harmful impacts this rule would have on our communities.
While stopping this attack is an important victory, the proposal already created fear and confusion that has dissuaded immigrant families from seeking needed resources — regardless of whether they would have been impacted by the rule. Here in Oregon and across the country, food banks have seen the harmful impact of this proposal first-hand, and it will take real time to rebuild trust in our communities.
At Oregon Food Bank, we believe that food and health are basic human rights for all — and we will continue to fight for our community. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first or last attack on food and health initiatives that are vital to Oregon families. Stay tuned in the coming days for more opportunities to build resilient, hunger-free communities together.