Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried criticizes Trump administration's proposed food stamp cuts

Posted By on Wed, Jul 24, 2019 at 3:47 PM

click to enlarge Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is Florida's top elected Democrat. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE COMMISSIONER
  • photo courtesy of the Commissioner
  • Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is Florida's top elected Democrat.
Food stamps are a hand up — not a handout, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said in a statement criticizing the Trump administration's proposed roll back on the program.

The Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that around 3 million Americans would no longer be eligible for food stamps due to new rules aiming to close a "loophole" in benefits.



“While 2.8 million Floridians struggle with food insecurity, including 850,000 children, reducing federal nutrition assistance is a step in the wrong direction," Fried said in a statement. "Helping families rise out of poverty through nutrition has long received bipartisan support.

Currently SNAP benefits, commonly known as food stamps, are automatically available for those enrolled in another government program, Temporary Assistance for Needy families (TANF).

The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants to change that automatic eligibility for some TANF recipients, releasing a statement claiming some of the recipients "clearly don't need it."

“For too long, this loophole has been used to effectively bypass important eligibility guidelines. Too often, states have misused this flexibility without restraint,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement. “The American people expect their government to be fair, efficient, and to have integrity – just as they do in their own homes, businesses, and communities."

Currently 3.1 million Americans received automatic eligibility due to this practice, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

More than 3 million Floridians use food stamps, according to 2017 data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, but it's not clear how many residents would be affected.

The news come after Fried made a 20-stop tour around the state targeting hunger and food insecurity.

"While our Department works to ensure kids can access healthy meals year-round, cutting food stamp eligibility will hurt 3 million working families seeking a hand up – not a handout,” she said in a statement.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

Tags: , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Calendar

© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation