Thousands of low-income individuals living in the District of Columbia are at risk of losing access to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as per the new federal requirements relating to work.
The change is expected to affect 16,500 people in D.C. and almost 700,000 around the United States.
Those aged between 18 and 49, who are not caring for children or pregnant, able-bodied and have not been working 20 hours a week minimum over the past three months may be selected for no longer being qualified for the program.
In order to keep benefiting from food stamps, one must find a job that contains at least 20 hours of work per week, sign up for a training/education program sponsored by the state towards finding a job or apply for a waiver.
If you are a beneficiary of SNAP and would like to opt for a training/education program to keep it, you can apply to the human service agencies in D.C., Maryland or Virginia.
“We are deeply disappointed in the Trump Administration’s decision to implement a policy that will increase hunger nationwide by causing hundreds of thousands of Americans, including approximately 16,500 Washingtonians, to lose access to SNAP benefits,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a tweet on Thursday.
(1/3) We are deeply disappointed in the Trump Administration’s decision to implement a policy that will increase hunger nationwide by causing hundreds of thousands of Americans, including approximately 16,500 Washingtonians, to lose access to SNAP benefits…
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) December 5, 2019
“Let’s be clear: Hunger does not resolve barriers to employment. Hunger does not solve inequality. Hunger does not solve poverty. Millions of Americans already experience hunger – something that should not happen in a nation as prosperous as ours. This cruel policy does not live up to our values as a nation, and now we must work together nationwide to resist these changes and protect our most vulnerable neighbors,” Bowser continued.
“I think a lot of people will lose benefits because it’s very difficult for a lot of these folks to get stable employment,” Elaine Waxman from the Urban Institute told WUSA9 about the change.
On December 4, the Trump administration announced new work requirements for recipients of food stamps. The new rules will take effect on April 1.