USDA Proposes Stricter Requirements For SNAP Program

Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 1:29pm
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As the U.S. Department of Agriculture moves to distribute SNAP benefits early in light of the shutdown, it’s also proposing some major, controversial changes to the food distribution program.

The USDA is proposing that they require stricter compliance with rules: that some SNAP recipients must be working, in school or in a training program in order to receive their benefits. There was a similar provision in the recently-approved Farm Bill, but it did not make it into the final version.

Catherine Boudreau has written about this. She’s a Food and Agriculture Reporter for Politico. The Show spoke with her and asked her to break down exactly what the Trump administration is proposing here for SNAP recipients.

Now that the new rule has been proposed, there’ll be a 90 day public comment period before the USDA makes its final decision.

The Show also reached out to the Arizona Department of Economic Security to get a sense of how Arizonans might be affected by this change. In an email, a spokesperson said, as of October of last year, more than 450,000 adults and nearly 400,000 children receive SNAP benefits statewide.

Of that population, just 12 percent fall into the category that would be affected by this rule — 12 percent are able-bodied adults without dependents. The state receives waivers based on unemployment rates in the counties and the USDA sets the threshold and approves these waivers.

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