SAN ANTONIO (WOAI/KABB) — Nearly 1 million people could lose their federal SNAP benefits under a new requirement that has opinions flying from both sides.
The 11th hour debt ceiling agreement has some new requirements that could impact SNAP benefits. People 50-54 without children must work at least 20 hours a week.
“There are so many hoops that you have to jump through to get help,” Pamela Allen said.
Allen, with her Texas-based non-profit Eagle's Flight, has worked with people on food stamps.
There are a number of exemptions in the new requirements. Allen said she's also seen first-hand, through her step-son, what it takes to qualify.
Just to be able to get a diagnosis from the state and be able to be recognized as having a disability, that took six months,” Allen said.
Texas Congressman Chip Roy weighed in on the changes coming to the program.
“Talk about food programs, I don't hear a whole hell of a lot about what we're doing to devastate American families with rampant inflation, because we keep spending money we don't have. We have watered down work requirements; the CBO just said [this] will actually increase the cost of SNAP by $2 billion,” Roy said.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, this could impact 750,000 people.
San Antonio Food Bank Chief Development Officer Michael Guerra said they're currently serving 175,000 people weekly in 29 counties. They expect that number to go up amid the changes and summer starting.
“These shelves might be empty, because the food's going out fast, but we also need to refill them just as fast. So, we need our community more than ever,” Guerra said.
He explains how they will keep up with the demand.
Nothing like serving together as a family. It's a great time to do food drives. $1 provides seven meals; our efficiencies are still really powerful,” Guerra said.
This plan will be phased in. Fifty-year-olds will be under the new requirements 90 days after the deal is signed into law. 51 and 52-year-olds will be phased in during the current fiscal year. 53 and 54-year-olds will start next fiscal year. These requirements will run through Oct. 1, 2030.