Some Kentuckians Risk Losing SNAP Benefits in Debt-Ceiling Talks
Monday, May 22, 2023
More than 17,000 Kentuckians could lose food assistance when pre-pandemic SNAP work requirements go back into effect this summer, for adults between ages 18 and 49.
That's on top of a proposal House Republicans are pushing in the debt-ceiling bill in Congress that would implement work requirements for people up to age 55.
Groups working to fight hunger say the combination could trigger a food insecurity crisis.
Cassidy Wheeler, advocacy coordinator for the nonprofit Feeding Kentucky, said the Commonwealth ranks second nationwide for food insecurity among people in their 50s.
She said rural communities left behind in the tech era have made finding employment difficult.
"We have a lot of blue-collar workers here in Kentucky," said Wheeler, "who maybe have worked in factories their whole lives, farmed, or they've done some sort of physically intensive job that they're not able to do anymore. And they may not have the skill set now, to transition into a different field."
Backers of work requirements say it's one way to reduce fraud and trim the budget by providing aid only to those who need it most.
Anyone concerned about their eligibility should call the Department of Community Based Services at 1-885-306-8959 or visit the Kentucky SNAP Benefits website through 'kynect.ky.gov.'
According to an American Economic Association study, work reporting requirements could mean more than half of a state's SNAP participants losing assistance - and are most likely to affect people without stable housing.
Wheeler added that many older Kentuckians are living with conditions that make it challenging to meet work requirements, but they don't qualify for disability benefits.
"Taking away someone's SNAP benefits is not going to make them find a job faster or easier," said Wheeler. "They will just be hungry while they're doing it."
The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy estimates more than 9,000 people in 39 counties, largely in eastern Kentucky, would be exempt from reporting work hours due to higher-than-average unemployment rates.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
In the wake of the devastating overdose epidemic in North Carolina, the state's Department of Health and Human Services is stepping up to aid …
In cities across the globe, including the Michigan city of Midland, various organizations are commemorating International Day of Peace today…
In rural Alabama, where hurricanes and tornadoes are a constant threat, communities often struggle with damage and limited resources for extended …
A group of West Virginia Democratic delegates is calling for a special session to address West Virginia University's budget shortfall. Del. Evan …
While many Wyomingites of Hispanic descent came from Mexico, there is a lesser-known population from the old Spanish settlements of northern New …
People in rural America are five times as likely to live in so-called "ambulance deserts," areas far from an ambulance service or station, than those …
Health and Wellness
The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes is on the rise in Mississippi. About one in seven Mississippians lives with diabetes. Jernard A. Wells, cookbook …
This week, feminism passes a milestone of sorts as the iconic publication, Ms. Magazine, looks back on its first fifty years. A new book has just …