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Central Texas family concerned over proposed SNAP eligibility changes

Posted at 6:36 PM, Dec 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-11 19:36:41-05

KILLEEN, TX — Proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, could limit how people receive food assistance. Those changes could affect millions.

Angelina Ramos is a mother of 2 and says she relies on food stamps to feed her family. She worries the proposed changes could leave other families hungry if they lose those benefits.

"A percentage of us already work really hard just to pay rent pay bills," said Ramos.

Ramos recently moved her family from Austin to Killeen because she couldn't afford the cost of living.

"It was way ridiculous. A two-bedroom was like $1,400. One of my checks won’t even clear that. I make $500 to $600 every two weeks," she said.

Food stamps help the Ramos’ buy food.

The benefits are placed on what’s called a Lone Star Card that can be used just like a credit card.

Last week the White House proposed a new rule that will require recipients to work in order to receive food stamp benefits.

Other proposed regulation would tighten who qualifies for assistance as well as how allowances for utilities expenses are calculated.

"If they take food stamps away from families, children are gonna starve more. There are already children starving," said Ramos.

According to an Urban Institute Report issued last month, more than 36 million Americans receive Food stamp benefits, including over 45,000 in Central Texas.

"People are gonna start starving. People are going to go crazy because food is essential people have to eat," said Ramos.

Food stamp benefits can't be used to buy tobacco, alcohol, or bills you owe.

If the new rules go into effect, it could save over $5.5 billion over 5 years.