Local impact of potential change to food stamps eligibility

Food Stamp reduction proposal

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -The Trump administration is proposing to reduce the number of people eligible for food stamps nationwide.

If that happens, about 700,000 people would no longer be eligible for food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Last year about 40 million low-income Americans benefited from that program.

All Faiths Food Bank and The Food Bank of Manatee both say they are concerned about what this would mean for people who are food insecure on the Suncoast.

In Sarasota County, about 50% of children rely on free and reduced-price meals at school. This potential cut could directly impact those kids.

"Eligibility for SNAP also affects eligibility for school meals for children. So it's really important to understand the purpose of SNAP was to address hunger and starvation in children when it was first developed. And it's still the most important program and the biggest program we have to end hunger," said Sandra Frank, who is the CEO of All Faiths Food Bank.

Frank said if there was a change made to food stamps, more people would rely on food banks to get their food. But, Frank said for every one meal they can provide, SNAP can provide 12 meals, so it’d be nearly impossible to make up for that loss.

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