SACRAMENTO — The Trump administration is proposing a rule that would cut more than 3 million people from the food stamp program.
The move is said to save taxpayers about $2.5 billion a year.
But many are upset, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who called the move an “act of staggering callousness.”
“They’re not people that are sitting down eating Doritos and watching TV all day. They’re hardworking citizens and they are doing a lot to make sure that they provide for their family and get off the assistance,” said Sacramento community activist Berry Accius, who founded Voice of the Youth.
Accius believes the move is political and could backfire on President Donald Trump.
“The myth is this is going to affect African Americans and Hispanics, but this is going to affect white Americans,” he told FOX40. “So, when you’re thinking about the voting of 2020, a lot of Trump’s supporters are going to look at him like, ‘What are you doing? What are you doing to us?’”
According to the Department of Agriculture, residents in 43 states who receive help from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program are automatically enrolled in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, which used to be known as the Food Stamp Program.
California is one of those states.
“If you are eligible in certain circumstances then you’re eligible for this,” said Janna Haynes, the spokesperson for the Sacramento County Human Assistance Department, which runs SNAP locally. “And so, that means that we’re not running paperwork through again and again and again to check your eligibility. If you qualify for X then you qualify for Z.”
Haynes cautions those who are currently enrolled in the program to not assume this move will impact them as there could be several revisions.
“Right now, we would recommend that people don’t reach out or contact until we know what the restrictions are going to look like so that we can determine who, if anyone, is impacted,” Haynes said.
Meanwhile, Accius admitted he briefly received SNAP benefits during the recession.
“I hated being on it because the restrictions already were, to me, asinine. So, I was ready to get off of it as soon as I got on,” he explained.
He said, in reality, it’s a program few would actually want to be on but many are forced to in order to get by.
“I mean, who wants to be on a program where you have to give up all your income information? It’s something that’s very sketchy and sometimes it’s embarrassing,” Accius told FOX40.