Coronavirus Facts First

Possible change in SNAP requirements could affect millions


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is proposing to tighten automatic eligibility requirements for the food stamp program, a change that could affect about 3.1 million people.

The Agriculture Department says the rule would close “a loophole” that enables people receiving only minimal benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to be eligible automatically for food stamps.

Under current law, states may confer eligibility for food stamps, officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, if they meet income and other requirements for TANF. USDA says states have expanded that to include households that “barely participate” in TANF.

“This proposal is lose lose. It makes it harder for families to leave poverty and leave hunger while making sure that millions of Americans including hundreds of thousands of American school kids will go without food,” said Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America.

USDA says this has resulted in people receiving food stamps who don’t need it. It estimates that in 2020, 3.1 million food stamp recipients, or 8% of the total could be affected.

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