LI group: 160,000 Long Islanders face losing food stamps

Posted: Updated:
WESTBURY -

The Trump administration's plan to tighten the rules governing food stamps could cut more than three million people from the program, including Long Islanders.

Margarita Diaz, of Westbury, says she relies on food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to put food on the table. The 54-year-old says she can't work because she suffers from diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

Forty-three states allow low-income residents to automatically become eligible for SNAP food stamps without undergoing income or asset tests. Under the proposed new guidelines, eligibility for food stamps would be capped at an annual income of $32,640 for a family of four. The Trump administration says it's necessary for preventing abuse of a critical safety net system so those who need food assistance the most are the only ones who receive it.

Rebecca Sanin, of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, says the Trump administration's move would devastate more than 160,000 Long Islanders.

The proposed rule change is open for public comment for 60 days. However, SNAP recipients and their caseworkers fear it will take effect regardless of public opinion.

The Trump administration says the proposal would save $2.5 billion a year.

 

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