Trump Administration’s Food Stamp Move Could Cost The Economy Millions [Opinion]

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It was just last week that The Inquisitr reported the Trump administration is considering a change to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that could cause over 750,000 Americans to be at risk of losing their food stamp benefits.

Unfortunately, it isn’t just the people who will lose their SNAP benefits that would suffer from this change to the program. The entire United States economy would suffer from it.

Whether a family’s food stamp budget for the month is $90 or $600, that’s extra money intended to supplement what the family has to spend on food each month. If these recipients lose their benefits, the businesses they buy the food and beverages from would also be losing the supplemental funding.

According to City Limits, officials believe cutting food stamps would cost the New York City economy alone nearly $100 million a year in SNAP benefits. They also speculate this would cost the city over $150 million in lost business.

When breaking down their reasoning, the city officials estimated that 50,000 residents within the city would lose an average of $151 in benefits through SNAP.

This would cause just shy of 10,000 businesses across the city that accept SNAP as a form of payment to lose sales. The city officials believe the decline in sales would threaten jobs as well as damage tax revenue.

“We may be saving a few bucks by not paying them SNAP, but we’re generating costs that will eventually end up as public costs for taking care of people,” Nicholas Freudenberg, the director of CUNY’s Urban Food Policy Institute, explained.

For those who haven’t been following food stamp related news as of late, the Trump administration recently announced plans to tighten the rules regarding the employment requirements to qualify for the program. Currently, able bodied recipients who do not have a disability or medical disorder which prevents them from being able to work are required to work a certain number of hours to obtain food stamps.

State governments, however, have the opportunity to apply for a waiver if the area in which the recipients live have a lack of available job opportunities. The Trump administration is seeking to change what state governments can argue is a “lack of job opportunity.” The Trump administration believes this will encourage Americans to get jobs and work their way out of poverty.

As The Inquisitr reported last week, many experts and officials who have chimed in urge the Trump administration to reconsider as taking food resources away from low-income families is going to make their situations worse, not better.

New York City’s formal comment on the proposal argues that it ignores “socio-economic realities” and it “will worsen hunger.”

“Limiting ABAWD waivers – especially without adding a penny for job creation or wage hikes – would increase hunger and fail to increase employment,” says Joel Berg, the CEO of the NYC-based Hunger Free America, added.