Food stamp work requirement could change, concerning low-income families

Some lawmakers in Washington do not believe all those families deserve the program. However, for struggling families, what happens next means everything.

Faith Godwin said she is afraid she could lose the government benefits that provide healthy food for her family.

“You're going to have to make choices like, ‘Do we eat or pay the rent? Do we eat or make the car payment?’” Godwin said.

The single mother of three children said she works when she can.

She is closely watching the showdown in Washington over the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP which used to be called food stamps.

“Why is my ability to make a certain amount of money or not going to penalize my children in giving them a basic human need,” Godwin said. 

Congress is considering reforming the program to include stricter work requirements.

“There are approximately 15 million working age, able bodied adults on SNAP. Of these, 9 million are not working. We can and should do better,” Brandon Lipps with the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

Lawmakers heard testimony Wednesday about waste, fraud and abuse in the program.

A government watchdog agency that went before the committee released a new report on SNAP saying, “Issues remain.”

“USDA has been working with states to resolves these issues and is expected to release new estimates by June 30 of this year,” Kathryn Larin with the Government Accountability Office said.

Godwin believes two million people could lose their benefits depending on what Congress does, and she could be one of them.

“Rather than penalize everyone, maybe fix the holes in the system,” Godwin said.

Congress is expected to consider changes to the SNAP program as part of a broader farm bill.

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