LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)-- A new proposed farm bill could potentially cut back the benefits of free food for low-income families.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as SNAP, provides food to more than 38% of Tippecanoe County residents.
The proposed Farm Bill would change eligibility requirements for low-income households who use food assistance programs.
According to the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, the new guidelines are aimed at reducing duplicative benefits in multiple states.
Some of the requirements include providing monthly documentation of household income, as well as anyone between the ages of 18 to 59 to work or be actively involved in a work training program.
Food Finders Food Bank President Katy Bunder said for some people with disabilities it is hard to keep jobs. She also said these requirements will add more work.
"States will have to add whole departments to process those documents that prove that people are working so they can either keep them on SNAP or take them off SNAP," said Bunder. "For the working poor, they will have to now add this working requirement of presenting documentation."
For every one meal, Food Finders Food Bank provides, SNAP provides 12 meals without sending more customers to line up at pantries and put a strain on their suppliers.
Lori Rew said she used to qualify for SNAP. However, she moved counties and the qualifications are too much for her.
"Between the paperwork that is required of you, the time it takes to get down to the office, I don't have a vehicle so it is buses or walking," Rew said. "It is so hard to qualify in the first place, now they are changing everything so it is even harder."
Bunder said this will not only affect the people who use SNAP in grocery stores but now those recipients will be coming to food banks for assistance.
Food Finders Food Bank is lacking meat supplies and other food donations. If this bill passes Bunder does not believe the food pantry will be able to keep up with the high demands of customers.
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