White House administration's newly proposed changes will hit hard to the people with low income.
Under the new proposal from the White House administration, many among the poorest of the poor could be denied food stamps. CNN reports that the proposal would limit the state's ability to waive an employment requirement of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP - a program that gives assistance to buy food to people with low income.
Tougher work requirements could force people off SNAP. https://t.co/VtLFL2x6Xd— ABC12WJRT (@ABC12WJRT) 4 April 2019
According to NPR, the goal of the proposal is to encourage able-bodied adults to go to work and get off government aid. But opponents predict people would go hungry instead if the rule goes into effect. A public comment period, which ended last Tuesday, has so far drawn more than 28,000 comments overwhelmingly against the proposed rule.
More than 750,000 people Could lose Food Stamp SNAP Benefits https://t.co/voR49ZXHEj— BlackInformant 🔥👑🔥 (@BlackInformant) 8 April 2019
The Root writes that this proposal draws its basis from an assumption that people are lazy and not already sought jobs - hinting that this sentiment is not only classicist but also racist.
Under current policy, all non-disabled, working-age adults without dependents must have jobs or be in training programs to receive SNAP benefits. Waivers are available for people with disabilities or those who live in high-unemployment areas.
The majority of Americans receiving SNAP benefits *have* jobs. Training programs take them away from those jobs. Improve access to *education* rather than erroneous workforce training. Reduce the stigma of our safety net programs.— [email protected] (@KeephealthyA) 8 April 2019
However, The proposed changes would tighten the definition of areas where there are insufficient jobs. They would also require anyone who’s between the ages of 18 and 59 and able to work at least 20 hours a week to do so in order to qualify for SNAP benefits.
Today is the final day to comment on the Trump admin's proposed rule to change SNAP. If the rule goes into effect, it is likely that more than 750K people will lose their SNAP benefits. https://t.co/d5WwsbWUop— Ryan LaRochelle (@r_m_larochelle) 2 April 2019
Craig Gundersen, professor of agriculture and consumer economics at the University of Illinois tells NPR, “This idea that people are ripping off the system or something, that’s just not true.”
According to statistics from the Center on Budget and Policy Proposals, the average monthly cost for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit, formerly known as Food Stamps, was only $126 per person in 2016.
In a Wednesday hearing with the House Agriculture Subcommittee, researcher Karen Cunnyngham said the proposed changes would hit very poor Americans hard -- those who make, on average, about $557 a month. She said 11% of them have jobs but don’t work enough to satisfy the White House’s proposed requirement.
SNAP changes leave thousands of Kentuckians struggling with food access— ForwardKY (@ForwardKy) 4 April 2019
Thousands of Kentuckians classified as "able-bodied adults without dependents" are losing food stamp benefits due to a eligibility rule change by the state.https://t.co/WmXl8gj1Vv pic.twitter.com/QVx9pxao9h
Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, told the subcommittee that requiring people to work would not lead to them gaining employment.
Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, D-Connecticut, said she disagreed with the changes and believes encouraging education and job training would be a better approach.
"By ripping away a lifeline of an already vulnerable population, this administration is making yet another unconscionable attack on young people and poor people,” Hayes said.
"Those subject to the time limit have profound barriers to employment," said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.
The association found that one in three clients reported they have a physical or mental limitation, one-third did not finish high school or have a GED and more than half don't have reliable transportation.