Trump Administration announces changes to SNAP program

New rules could make it harder for some to keep their SNAP benefits.

Posted: Dec 6, 2019 7:11 PM
Updated: Dec 6, 2019 8:41 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Local organizations are reacting to the effort to tighten eligibility requirements for recipients of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP).

On Wednesday, the Trump administration received finalization from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) aims to restrict states from submitting waivers on behalf of able-bodied SNAP recipients.

A local volunteer at the Open Door Food Kitchen said she sees people on a day-to-day basis who rely on them to get by.

"My friends that are homeless don’t have anything other than food stamps." Debbie Norris, Volunteer Open Door Food Kitchen said. 

"they get no breakfast or supper if they don’t get food stamps."

Staff at the Second Harvest Community Food Bank said the changes reflect the improving economy, adding the original qualifications were in response to an economic recession several years ago.

Second Harvest staff also said that government assistance programs are meant to be a temporary fix. 

"We always are looking for ways to really help individuals find a way to get off social service and food assistance programs." Chad Higdon, CEO Second Harvest Community Food Bank said. 

Higdon added that many looking to improve their financial situation are willing to do what it takes.

"More often than not if someone is able to work, they want to find a good job and be able to provide for their family," Higdon said. 

Currently, 36 million people across the country depend on SNAP assistance according to USA Today, nearly 700.000 people stand to lose their SNAP Benefits under the new rules.  

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