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Proposed SNAP Cuts: New England States Likely Hardest Hit

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In aging states such as New Hampshire, advocates say more low-income seniors could end up at food pantries if Trump administration proposed cuts to SNAP are approved. (USDA)
In aging states such as New Hampshire, advocates say more low-income seniors could end up at food pantries if Trump administration proposed cuts to SNAP are approved. (USDA)
 By Mike CliffordContact
June 20, 2017

CONCORD, N.H. – President Donald Trump wants to take a $193 billion slice out of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program over the next 10 years, and local hunger-fighting advocates say tens of thousands of children could lose food assistance.

Philip Sletten, a policy analyst with the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute (NHFPI), says about 7 percent of the state's population receives SNAP benefits, which are still called food stamps in the Granite State.

"Of that 7 percent receiving food stamp benefits, about 40 percent of them are children, which totals about 38,000 children,” Sletten points out. “Per-meal basis, about $1.83 is the maximum benefit."

Trump's budget anticipates an improved economy that will result in fewer individuals in need of food stamps.

Last year, Sletten says the state received about $120 million in federal transfers for SNAP benefits. Under the Trump proposal, the cuts to the program would total about $40 million a year.

Patricia Baker, a policy analyst with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, says New England states have been trading places for the oldest state in the nation, and as a result are likely to experience the most severe impacts from the proposal, given the demographics.

"A population that's rapidly aging, and we're worried that health care costs, of lack of access to food, are going to have an incredibly negative impact on their ability to age in place in their communities and not end up in hospitals and long-term care,” she states.

Currently, the federal government funds 100 percent of SNAP benefits, and the cost of state level administration is split with the state government.

Trump also wants to shift a portion of the cost of the food stamp program to the states, starting with 10 percent in 2020.

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