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Some 70 thousand people could lose their food stamps after changes in SNAP Program requirements

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Some 70 thousand people could lose their food stamps after changes in SNAP Program requirements

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the United States is set to add new eligibility requirements that could put more than 75,000 people, including children, at risk of losing their food stamps.

In West Virginia, a bill proposed by local legislators on the issue is under review. Caitlin Cook, director of advocacy and public policy at the Mountaineer Food Bank, stated, “As written, it is taking food assistance away from 75,000 West Virginians, including 30,000 children.”

The project is currently in the Senate Workforce Committee and is expected to become law very soon. Sen. Rollan Roberts, R-Raleigh, is the main promoter of the idea.

The changes to the SNAP program are expected to be implemented starting in 2023. Currently, the program already requires people of a certain age range to meet job requirements and has modified some income limits requested in each state. However, if SB 562 is passed, state agencies will assign SNAP recipients to a job or training program to maintain food benefits, unless they work about 30 hours a week or are under one of the established exemptions.

Rhonda Rogombe, health and safety network policy analyst at the West Virginia Budget and Policy Center, expressed concerns about the bill, stating, “There are a lot of classist assumptions made about people enrolled in SNAP, and I think this bill deeply reflects that.”

Official data from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources shows that one in six residents of the state was part of the SNAP program in 2023.

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With the potential impact of these changes, many are closely watching the developments in the SNAP program and the potential consequences for those who rely on food assistance.

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