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Proposed SNAP changes worry food pantries

MARION, Ill. — The USDA is proposing a new rule for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Under the proposed rule, able-bodied adults without dependents must find work within three months or risk losing their benefits. 

Cami Horn with the Salvation Army of Southern Illinois says this rule could mean more hungry people coming through the door. 

"If they are not in compliance, so if they don’t find work within that three month time frame, that will probably affect us, as we are going to start seeing those folks because they are going to have the need to supplement," said Horn. 

The St. Louis Area Foodbank, which supplies food to the Salvation Army of Southern Illinois monthly, has been outspoken in opposition of this proposal saying, "by limiting food assistance to this population, federal law shifts the burden of providing food from SNAP to the charitable sector," meaning food pantries. 

Horn says on top of the proposed change, families could see SNAP benefits come in a little later next month. Instead of receiving benefits between April 1-3, families will see benefits April 1-10. 

"If they had planned they were going to have those benefits in that first week and now they are not, they may need to come to us first as opposed to coming to us at the end of the month," said Horn. 

Horn says the Salvation Army will be ready to help, but families need to prepare by meal planning more carefully.

The St. Louis Area Foodbank is asking for help voicing opposition to the change. Before the new rule can move forward, the USDA is required to read every comment they receive about it. If you’d like to voice your opinion, click here.

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