Perspective: Thousands Will Lose Benefits

Aug 5, 2019

Editor's note: The audio portion of this Perspective is incorrect in the number of Americans who are food-insecure. The correct number is 1 in 8, which was in the original script.  

“I’ve never done this before,” a woman tells me as I help her sign up for food assistance at the Grow Mobile pop-up pantry. “My husband has been ill, and I had to quit my job to take care of him.” One of millions of stories. 


There is so much going on in Washington. You may have missed this proposed change put forward by the Trump administration. 


The USDA is proposing changes to qualifications for SNAP benefits. This proposed change could cause as many as 77,000 recipients in Illinois to lose their benefits for food assistance and more than 3 million nationwide. And if their parents lose SNAP, it is estimated that nearly 300,000 children will lose their free and reduced lunches. 


These rule changes would affect working families who struggle to make ends meet and elderly and those with disabilities the most. 


It is estimated these changes will save the federal government $2.5 billion. However, what are the costs going to be to local food pantries and other relief organizations? As hunger increases, so do a host of other social and health related problems. 


Currently 1 in 8 Americans are food insecure. More than 46 million Americans receive food assistance now from food pantries. 


Please stay aware of what is happening behind the media curtain that Trump erects around his administration. It is imperative that we stay awake and engaged. 


Our hungry children are depending on us. 


I’m Dan Kenney and that’s my perspective.