I grew up believing that people on food stamps were lazy, uneducated and dependent.

These common myths about food stamps stigmatize and hurt families. Here in Utah, 86 percent of the families that receive SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) have at least one working family member, and the average duration families use SNAP benefits is actually less than a year. For most families, SNAP benefits provide help following a difficult event — a serious illness, job loss, or divorce. It’s a temporary help that frees up limited funds so families can eat and keep the roof over their head during a crisis.

Work requirements already exist for people who receive SNAP, but the new Farm Bill simply makes these onerous — extending the work requirements to mothers with children in elementary school and adults over 50 years old. The bill also requires families to document work every single month — increasing the implementation costs of the program and burdening families who are already struggling through a crisis.

In addition, the Farm Bill cuts SNAP by nearly 10 billion meals in the next decade. Please call and ask your representative to vote NO on this Farm Bill that is based on myth, not fact.

Debbie Baskin, Salt Lake City