The U.S. House is considering a version of a farm bill that could heavily impact benefits for Texans receiving food stamps.
The change to state policy standards for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) could take away 482 million meals for the hungry, and could cut 171,000 people from food assistance statewide, according to the Texas Food Bank Network.
SNAP eligibility is based on financial factors such as low income and limited assets. Once households complete an application and an interview, they may be able to receive benefits.
In Travis County, the bill could affect over 5,000 Texans and over 15 million meals could be eliminated. Overall, the state could lose $1 billion dollars to the bill.
“Taking flexibility away from states to help families achieve financial stability is not sound policy,” says Texas Food Bank Network CEO Celia Cole. “These cuts will create a huge meal gap that charities like our food banks will be unable to fill. We urge Congress to reject any farm bill that that will hurt needy families.”
Impact estimates for every Texas county are available on the Texas Food Bank Network website.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said a Senate bill would lead to reduced food stamp benefits for Texans. Those proposed cuts are contained in a House bill. KUT regrets the error.