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Trump Administration moves to restrict food stamp access for the poor
by Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com)
Friday Dec 21st, 2018 4:57 AM
Yesterday President Trump signed an $867 billion United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) farm bill. Ironically, yesterday the USDA simultaneously announced that it would unilaterally seek stricter work requirement rules for hundreds of thousands of poor people receiving food stamp assistance through the SNAP program!
Trump Administration moves to restrict food stamp access for the poor

By Lynda Carson - December 21, 2018

For millions of poor people in the United States needing access to the food stamp program (SNAP), it appears that this holiday season under the Trump Administration will be remembered as the Christmas from hell.

Yesterday President Trump signed an $867 billion United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) farm bill. Ironically, yesterday the USDA simultaneously announced that it would unilaterally seek stricter work requirement rules for hundreds of thousands of poor people receiving food stamp assistance through the SNAP program.

According to a December 20, 2018, release from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “The Trump Administration proposed draconian changes today in a key SNAP (food stamp) rule which, if implemented, would cut off basic food assistance for hundreds of thousands of the nation’s poorest and most destitute people. The Administration and House Republican leaders sought, but failed, to secure these changes as part of the farm bill that Congress just passed. The Administration is now proposing to implement, through executive action, what it failed to secure through legislation.”

“Those affected are SNAP participants ages 18 through 49 who aren’t raising minor children in their homes. The people whom the rule change would affect are among the poorest of the poor, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data show. Their average income is just 33 percent, or one-third, of the poverty line.”

Surviving On $123.00 Per Month In Food Stamp Assistance:

Just try to imagine as an individual what it is like to try and survive on only $123.00 per month in food stamp benefits (a.k.a SNAP).

Or, for your neighbors family to survive on a mere pittance of only $245.00 per month in food stamp benefits. Meanwhile, you try not to listen to their new born child screaming out in pain and hunger next door, as your neighbors try and figure out how they can get enough food to survive another day.

Before the President signed the bill into law, the stricter work requirement rules attacking the poor being orchestrated by the Trump Administration, the USDA, and extreme right-wing House Republicans were originally rejected in the farm bill passed by lawmakers this week.

The punitive unreasonable decision to unilaterally impose stricter work requirement rules attacking the poor blatantly ignores the final draft of the bi-partisan legislation, and will make it harder for people already going to bed hungry at night.

December 2018, The Christmas From Hell:

As Christmas nears and the Trump Administration shows its contempt for the poor, it just may be that you may see a person panhandling for spare change in front of Lucky grocers, or Safeway grocers. Someone that was not able to stretch their food stamp allowance to the end of the month.

There are plenty of hungry people around, and during September of 2018, the USDA said that 15 million households reported being “food insecure” during 2017.

Ironically, the same USDA believes that taking food away from poor people is a good thing for their work ethic.

In a recent letter from the USDA attacking the poor, it said, “The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) believes in moving recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to self-sufficiency through the dignity of work. Through work, SNAP recipients, especially those who are Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs), are lifted up and out of poverty and dependence:we should be working together to make that happen. As a former Governor, I recognize the challenges, but believe that with the help and technical assistance of USDA, we can"do right and feed everyone."

Meanwhile, the Trump Administration and the same extreme right-wing House Republicans seeking stricter work requirement rules for hundreds of thousands of poor people needing food stamp assistance, are moving quick as they can to shut-down the federal government which will result in the lay-off of hundreds of thousands of people from their jobs.

Additionally, a government shut-down will result in the closure of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and will result in stopping the federal funding payments to HUD’s subsidized housing assistance programs, and affordable housing programs. This includes many of the same housing assistance programs that provide housing for thousands of poor people in the food stamp program (SNAP).

It definitely appears that this holiday season under the Trump Administration will be remembered as the Christmas from hell.

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com

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