2 Jewish groups say new food stamp rules will ‘devastate’ the needy


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Two Jewish groups decried new Trump administration restrictions for food stamp recipients, saying they would “devastate” the poor.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week restricted the ability of states to waive restrictions that keep able-bodied adults between 18 and 49 without dependents from receiving the food subsidies. The decision could pull as many as 700,000 people nationwide off of food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

“The new SNAP rules announced yesterday by the Federal government will devastate low-income New Yorkers by denying them critical food benefits they rely on to feed their families,” UJA-Federation of New York, which administers programs to the needy, said in a statement.

“It is not acceptable that in New York State over 100,000 people could lose their SNAP benefits,” the statement said. “These changes demonstrate a total lack of regard for how low-income Americans cope with the realities of employment, poverty, and food insufficiency.”

Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger, an advocacy group, said in a statement that the Trump administration “has cruelly and needlessly restricted access to the most basic of human needs for those who are among our nation’s most vulnerable. Hunger is not and has never been a meaningful incentive to find employment when employment is not there to be had.”

A bid by the Trump administration to include the new restrictions failed, leading to the regulatory change, which does not need congressional approval. Mazon earlier this year had organized a letter from 60 members of the U.S. House of Representatives opposing the proposed changes, noting that they would also afflict many military veterans.

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