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New SNAP rules could cause Wisconsinites to lose food assistanceSubmitted: 12/10/2019
Maya Reese
Maya Reese
Reporter/Digital Content Director
mreese@wjfw.com

New SNAP rules could cause Wisconsinites to lose food assistance
RHINELANDER - New SNAP program requirements could take away access to food stamps for tens of thousands of Wisconsinites.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, helps roughly forty million people in the United States buy food. Changes to this governmental assistance program may effect nearly seven hundred thousand Americans. These changes will go into effect on April first of 2020.

The Department of Agriculture will soon have a new SNAP rule that includes a work requirement for physically healthy adults under the age of 50 that do not have a dependent.

Jane Motowski operates the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry. She believes removing people from the SNAP program will cause them to start using resources at the food pantry more often.

"They may not have come at the beginning of the month because they had money coming in," said Motowski. "Now if they don't have that then they're probably going to come in more often."

Last Saturday, the local food pantry gave out six thousand pounds of food. Motowksi says she will try her best to make sure they still have enough food to give to Rhinelander families.

"People come in and they look at my back room and they think there so much food here, but you know what?" said Motowski. "If everybody that could qualify came in on a regular two week basis, which is allowed, I'd be out of food within probably two months if it lasted that long."

One mother, who chose to remain anonymous, receives three hundred dollars' worth of food purchasing assistance per month.

"With the foodshare that I get, the food share does not last all month. It doesn't. Around the ending of each month my household hurts so bad on meat and canned goods," she said.

Once the food she gets from SNAP runs out, she then goes to the food pantry to restock her cabinets. She says without help from SNAP, she doesn't know how she would feed her family.

"With the income that we have in my household, the income only covers rent, bills, and you know insurance for the vehicles so honestly I would have no clue," she said.

More than one hundred and forty thousand people submitted comments to the Department of Agriculture, according to The New York Times. Additional proposed rules would continue to lower coverage and may decrease the number of students who qualify for reduced cost school lunches.

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