Trump proposal could cut off food stamps to 35K in Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota food pantry officials are opposing a federal proposal that could take away food stamp benefits from more than 35,000 state residents.
The Trump administration in July proposed closing what it calls “a loophole” that automatically deems some people eligible who aren’t qualified to receive food stamps.
Colleen Moriarty, who heads the nonprofit group Hunger Solutions Minnesota, said Thursday that the “cuts will do real harm to the people in the state of Minnesota.”
The rule change raises the maximum gross income limit for food stamps, disqualifying households that make more than 130% of the federal poverty standard, or $27,024 per year for a family of three.
Federal agriculture officials say the proposed change will close a loophole that allowed people with high incomes to get food stamps. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposal does not require congressional approval.
State officials say 18,000 children, 3,200 seniors and 2,900 adults with disabilities would lose food assistance under the rule change. Those losing access to food stamps are likely to rely on food pantries, the Star Tribune reported.
Advocates say some Minnesota pantries are already serving a record number of people.
“The emergency food system just keeps growing and growing,” said Christine Pulver of Keystone Community Services in St. Paul.
Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com