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Trump's Decision to Cut SNAP Benefits to Affect Many Central New Yorkers

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Many Central New Yorkers will be among the 85,000 people in the state affected by the Trump Administration’s recent decision to cut SNAP benefits for low-income residents.  Changes to the federal food assistance program include limiting the number of exemptions for applicants who cannot meet the program’s work requirements, leaving many without aid.

Director of government relations at the Food Bank of Central New York Becky Lare says the exceptions are crucial to helping individuals in counties with high rates of unemployment.

“Just in the Food Bank’s eleven county service area, we still have eight counties that are currently using waivers because unemployment is so high, and that includes Onondaga County.”

Lare says the decision to cut benefits stems from a belief that it will motivate people to work harder and be more proactive in finding jobs.  But she says the idea is not realistic.

“Research has shown that by limiting access to public benefits, it doesn’t result in increased employment. Instead it just takes basic food assistance away from people in need.”

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Food Bank of Central New York serving food

Without the waivers, individuals can only receive benefits for up to three months. Lare says those who are no longer eligible for SNAP under the new rules can still seek support from local food pantries after the period has ended.

“Our partner agencies are still going to be available to assist those in need. If they are currently receiving SNAP and they may no longer be receiving SNAP, if this rule is implemented they can turn to their local food pantry or soup kitchen.”

Lare also encourages people to support their local food banks in times of need so more individuals and families can have access to food outside of SNAP.  The new rules are slated to take effect April first.