Congressman Cohen Introduces the MEAL Act

February 14, 2020
Press Release
Measure would lift restrictions on SNAP and TANF for people with prior felony convictions


WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today introduced the Making Essentials Affordable and Lawful (MEAL) Act to lift restrictions on the receipt of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) for people with prior felony convictions.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

“Thousands of people are released from state and federal prisons re-enter society and find significant challenges, including lifetime bans on food assistance and TANF. This bill would repeal the 1996 ban on drug felons receiving SNAP and TANF and allow them to apply for these programs before their release so that they can meet their basic needs on day one and reduce the likelihood of recidivism.”