Food stamps could be cut from 200,000 Floridians
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) —
Food stamps could be cut off to more than 200,000 Floridians who depend on them including children and seniors.
A proposal is now moving ahead in the state legislature and some Republicans are backing the move.
Republicans who support this argue now, since the economy is improving, it's time to change eligibility requirements.
But people who depend on food stamps say there's still people struggling and this move would hurt lives.
One-by-one people in need come in and out of Valley of Love Ministries.
"Most people are worried about what they're going to do this summer. We've got people worried about what they're going to eat today," Clay Grimsley said.
Many like Grimsley end up here because they fall through the cracks and are not eligible for food stamps.
"I would just like to say to those who make these decisions, just remember, it is me today, but it could be you tomorrow," Grimsley said.
He's concerned about requirements for food stamps becoming even more difficult.
Although food stamps are paid by the federal government, legislators have some control over eligibility.
A House bill would limit food stamps to families that earn less than 130 percent of the federal poverty limit or $2,633 a month for a family of four.
This comes when the owner of the food pantry says families are already choosing to pay their bills over buying groceries.
They hope lawmakers will listen.
"The sad reality is you've got kids on a Friday who cannot wait to go to school on a Monday, so they can eat a meal," Grimsley said.
This bill to make these changes has made it through two House committees.
However, nothing has come forward yet in the state Senate.
Nationally, most of the people who receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are white.
According to 2013 data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a breakdown of households by race show 40 percent of SNAP recipients are white, 25 percent are black and 10 percent are Hispanic. About half of the households either worked or were on social security, and they also included children.