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Some Households Could Lose SNAP Benefits

June 26, 2019 07:21 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Pres. Donald Trump made it clear he wants to scale back on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) when he called for $220 billion in cuts to the program in the 2020 budget plan.

Now, Ohio’s Democratic Congresswoman, Marcia Fudge, says 400,000 households could lose food stamps.

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According to the Washington Post, Congress expects a proposal changing the eligibility of those who receive food stamps. Currently, households with gross incomes of up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level qualify. However, many Republicans are pushing to reduce that number to 130 percent.

This focus on SNAP benefits brings to light just how many families rely on food stamps, even in our region.

The Rochester Farmers Markets accepts food stamps. In fact, through a state program, they are able to get rid of some of the barriers when it comes to healthy eating. 

“It works just like a grocery store,” said Jess Joyce, the market manager. “I can come to the market and swipe my EBT card and get money to spend with all the vendors. There's a program that's sponsored by the State of Minnesota called "Market Bucks" where if you spend $10 in EBT at the farmers market, you actually get a bonus $10.”

Which means SNAP recipients are able to stretch their benefits twice as far.

“The customers that use their food stamps at the market are some of our most loyal customers and we see them out every week at a Saturday's farmers market,” said Joyce. “Twenty to 40 customers take advantage of that program every weekend.”

Which is just a drop in the bucket when you consider the estimated number of those on SNAP benefits in Olmsted County is 10,000 people.

“SNAP is incredibly important; it allows families who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity, to take advantage of healthy fresh fruits and vegetables and to do their own shopping and make their own choices,” said Joyce.

Joyce urges people to reach out to their state lawmakers to make sure “Market Bucks” stays funded.

To find out if you qualify for SNAP, visit the USDA’s website: https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/recipient/eligibility#Am I eligible for SNAP?

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Hannah Tiede

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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