MASON CITY, Iowa - The food stamp, better known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), program may be seeing some changes soon.
Under current law, most of those who receive welfare benefits are automatically enrolled in SNAP. The new proposal from the Trump administration is looking to close a loophole, by curbing broad-based categorical eligibility, which makes it easier for some who have slightly higher income and asset levels to participate, with supporters of the move claiming it as a way to save billions of dollars yearly, and to prevent abuse of the system. However, those against it say the current system helps low income families that work and also have to pay for child care, housing and other expenses that would otherwise leave them with little money for food.
Joan Wheeler is on SNAP, and while it has helped her, she feels the proposal can curb some cases of abuse in the system.
"Some people get more than others, and the ones that I look at are the ones that are sitting around getting food stamps that don't need them. They need to get a job."
She believes that recent changes, such as adding more work requirements to receive benefits and changing the way the poverty threshold is calculated, can stop some of that abuse, as she believes it's giving people like who use the system the way it's intended to a bad name.
"They're hurting the ones that need the food stamps. They're 25 years old, and they're sitting around the house and doing nothing or getting into trouble with the law."
Nationwide, about 36 million people receive monthly food stamps. The proposal would cut about 3 million from the program.