People react to plans for reestablishment of SNAP work requirements

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — People at the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, who work with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, recipients, are reacting to Governor Haslam’s decision to reestablish some requirements.

At the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, they work with SNAP recipients.

“We also actively seek out people who could be eligible for the program, but might not be receiving benefits yet because of misinformation about food stamps or lack of access to the DHS office or the DFCS office in Georgia. So we have a SNAP outreach coordinator who actually goes out into the field and helps people sign up for food stamps,” said Laura Kilpatrick, the Director of Agency and Government Relations with the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.

On Monday, Governor Haslam and the Department of Human Services Commissioner announced plans to reinstate the federal work requirement in SNAP for able-bodied adults without dependents, which was waived in 2008 during the recession.

“For those that have dependents, this does not affect them. For those that are fifty and over, this does not affect them,” Kilpatrick said.

The SNAP work requirements will be reestablished in 70 counties, beginning February 1st.

“Bringing that in such a quick manner is going to affect a lot of families,” Kilpatrick said.

The waiver will remain in 16 counties, including Grundy and Bledsoe, which are designated as economically distressed. But some other rural counties are not included.

“Are there places for them to volunteer 20 hours a week? Is there transportation available for them to get to these programs that they are supposed to be enrolled in? That is our fear is that these counties that don’t have the same infrastructure that we may have in the cities are really going to suffer from this,” Kilpatrick said.

For more information about SNAP, click here.

Categories: Chattanooga, Local News

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