Thousands of Hoosiers could lose food stamp benefits due to major cuts in House farm bill

Posted at 11:18 PM, Jun 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-22 23:18:15-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Up to 105,000 Hoosiers are at risk of losing food stamp benefits due to major cuts in the House farm bill passed on Thursday. 

The bill would cut $17 billion out of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP over the next ten years. It would also make changes in work requirements.

"It's not only going to create a crisis for families who are gonna struggle to put food on the table. It's also gonna create a crisis for the state to try to figure out how do we process all these new benefit requirements. How do we make sure that people have the education and training if they are eligible for it? How do we fund this program? It's not gonna be enough," Jessica Frasier, Indiana Institute for Working Families, said.

Currently, 10,000 Hoosiers are enrolled in those education programs. 

23-year-old Danisha Manning is a single mother of three children. She says the legislators don't understand her plight.

"They should step into our shoes. You don't understand how it is. Because you don't have to worry about when you are gonna get your next meal. They don't have that problem. They are looking at us as being lazy we don't don't have help. Relying on food stamps is the only way we can feed our family," Manning said.

52-year-old David Piatt also receives food stamps, but he is on disability because he is a diabetic and has hypoglycemia. His benefits are not threatened, but he doesn't understand why others are being targeted.

"They put it on the backs of the poor to run their whole empire. Is that what America is about?" Piatt said.

The Senate version of the farm bill has only minor proposed changes to SNAP. It does not change work requirements. It could be voted on next week and is expected to pass because it has bipartisan support.

It's unclear how the Senate and House versions will be reconciled before going to President Trump for his signature.

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