Nov 30, 2019

Trump's proposed changes to food stamps could affect 3.7 million Americans

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Roughly 3.7 million fewer people could receive food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) if the Trump administration's proposed restrictions are implemented, a recent Urban Institute study found.

What they found: Households in California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington state and Texas would be disproportionately affected by the restrictions.

  • SNAP participation would fall by at least 15% in 13 states, and 24% in Washington, D.C.
  • Almost 75% of households with gross income above 130% of the federal poverty guidelines would lose SNAP eligibility.
  • Roughly half a million households with children would lose eligibility, and 1.1 million would incur an average of $28 less in benefits.
  • 1 million households with children would have an average of $13 more in benefits.

What they're saying: A bipartisan coalition of 70 mayors stated their "strong opposition" to the administration's proposed restrictions in August, warning changes to the program would harm local and regional economies.

Background: The administration has proposed three core SNAP restrictions:

  1. Limiting states' ability to request time limit waivers for able-bodied adults.
  2. Tightening residents' ability to become automatically eligible for food stamps if they receive benefits from another federal program.
  3. Setting uniform standard utility allowances.

Methodology: The study measured the possible effects of Trump's proposed regulations on households from 2018.

Go deeper: Trump administration plans to take 3M Americans off food stamps

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Report: Trump's new SNAP rules could push thousands off benefits

A volunteer packs boxes with food to be handed out to needy people. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Trump administration is rolling out new rules in April 2020 that could cause 223,000 people to lose food aid benefits, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Officials say the rule will encourage more people to work. However, critics say this is another example of the Trump administration's "efforts to deepen hardships" of the poor while cutting congressional authority over assistance programs, the Wall Street Journal writes.

Go deeperArrowDec 4, 2019

Tennessee becomes the first state to ask for Medicaid block grants

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee. Photo: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Tennessee is formally asking the Trump administration today to transform its Medicaid program into a block grant — the first real test of an idea that has captivated conservatives for years.

Why it matters: Tennessee's request will test the bounds of what the Trump administration can do on its own, as it seeks to overhaul the Medicaid program. And if it’s successful, it would usher in a new model for a program that covers some 75 million people.

Go deeperArrowNov 20, 2019

Baldwin, Florida, opens government-run grocery store to address food desert

Produce at a grocery store. Photo: Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images

After the only grocery store in Baldwin, Florida, closed, the mayor opened a market run by the local government to help limit the community's reliance on fast food and dollar stores, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: Small, low-income communities suffer in food deserts, where it requires trips that are in the tens of miles to access fresh groceries. About 13.5 million people live in food deserts across the U.S., per the USDA.

Go deeperArrowNov 23, 2019