Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Creating more hunger

The Trump administration proposal to tighten eligibility for food stamps could undercut access to basic nutrition for millions of Americans, according to an analysis conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which runs the program.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue had defended the rule change that would cut an estimated 3.1 million Americans from food stamp eligibility. He said the administration was "closing a loophole" that allowed exploitation of the program by Americans that had substantial savings and assets.

USDA, however, explained  that "The proposed rule may also negatively impact food security and reduce the savings rates among those individuals who do not meet the income and resource eligibility requirements for SNAP." 

43 U.S. states allow residents to qualify for food stamps automatically through SNAP if they receive benefits from another federal program known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TAN, according to the USDA.

The Trump administration wants to change that by requiring people who receive TANF benefits to pass a separate review of their income and assets to determine whether they are also eligible for free food from SNAP, officials said.

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