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Proposed SNAP Cuts Would Hit New Yorkers Hard

Almost 1.7 million low-income people now receive SNAP benefits in New York City alone. (Paul Sableman/Flickr)
Almost 1.7 million low-income people now receive SNAP benefits in New York City alone. (Paul Sableman/Flickr)
August 21, 2017

NEW YORK -- A new analysis of President Donald Trump's proposed budget shows it would take billions from lower-income New Yorkers.

The president's budget would cut SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps, by $193 billion nationwide over ten years by moving some costs to the states, making stricter eligibility requirements and program reductions.

Joel Berg, CEO of the nonprofit Hunger Free America, said a New York City Independent Budget Office analysis showed by 2023 New York State's share would be about $1.2 billion a year.

"Even if a small percentage of these cuts go through,” Berg said, "we would see a dramatic increase in hunger and the closest to starvation-like conditions we've had in New York City since the Depression."

The IBO said while Congress is likely to substantially modify the President's proposals, reductions to entitlement programs are being seriously discussed.

The Trump budget also would cut Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability by $72 billion over ten years, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families block grants by 10 percent - cuts Berg said New York State would be hard-pressed to replace.

"It'd be even worse in other parts of the country that are even less progressive than New York,” he said. "So, the impact truly could be devastating, not only in New York but nationwide."

Berg noted that opposition from Democrats and some moderate Republicans in Congress have so far kept cuts in the proposed House budget from coming to a vote.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY