The Trump Administration has ended SNAP benefits for about 8,000 food stamp recipients in Georgia from April to October, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. Additionally, the state suspended benefits for about 356 people per month from October 2017 to March 2018 for reportedly failing to get employment.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) mandates for those who are 18 and over to work for at least 20 hours a week or be enrolled in school in order to qualify for the benefits. Reportedly, Georgia authorities have been using a new method of being able to identify whether or not people in the peach state meet these qualifications.
Still, it’s estimated that more than 71 percent of the state’s population who benefit from food stamps have children and a third of that population have a relative who is disabled or elderly, The Root reports. There’s also the plight of people being able to hold down a steady job; either because of proximity to job locations or the lack of employment made available to them.
“People who use SNAP who can work, do work,” Senior Policy Analyst Alex Carmardelle, at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. “If you are not working and you are receiving SNAP it’s because of a serious reason.”
Amid the stringent qualifications for SNAP, and how those mandates have made the program’s qualifications harder to meet, Georgia lawmakers still believe in the benefit cuts based on how they collect their data.
“We are more confident in the system being able to identify ABAWDs [able-bodied adults without dependents] than we were in earlier systems,” said Jon Anderson, who is part of the state’s Division of Family and Children Services (which handles SNAP). “We have more data elements available to us with this system than we have had with any of our other eligibility systems.”
Here’s how some reacted to Georgia’s massive SNAP cut via Twitter. Many expressed their concerns and voiced how this could directly affect them.