Possible SNAP program cuts could affect thousands across CTX

Posted at 5:59 PM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 19:29:33-04

President Trump's $4.1 trillion budget proposal was released on Tuesday. Part of that proposed budget is a $191 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) over the span of 10 years.

The possible cut is causing food pantries, like Caritas of Waco, to keep a close eye on what Congress approves. Caritas of Waco serves hundreds of people every week. A majority of the people they serve rely on some type of federal help, including the SNAP program.

Arlesia Jones is one of those individuals. Jones received food stamps every month. 

"That only takes me for like two weeks so after the first half of the month is gone, I come to Caritas," Jones said. "Whatever they'll give me it'll take me to the other two weeks until I can come back to Caritas or when I get my food stamps."

Jones is one of about 42 million people who receive food stamps.

"Without the food stamps, I don't believe we'd make it as far as we have," Ta-Honika Taylor, who received food stamps, said.

Esther Morales, Director of the SNAP Benefits program at Caritas of Waco, said this proposed budget cut could have massive effects on people in McLennan County.

"They would have to spend more of their income on food, which then it would take away from other parts that are needed such as rent, utilities and medication," Morales said. "It's a major concern for us."

Morales said the possible budget cuts could mean people need to go to food pantries on a weekly basis, rather than monthly. That could mean local pantries would need to increase their supply to meet the demand.

"Anything that affects your pocket book, anything that affects your child's well-being, anything that affects a program that you utilize for survival is going to going to get noticed not just by the community but by you personally," Morales said.

The proposal would allow States to determine their level of SNAP benefits so they would have financial stake in providing the benefits.

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