US: Food stamp changes would mainly hurt those living in extreme poverty, study finds - PressFrom - US
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USFood stamp changes would mainly hurt those living in extreme poverty, study finds

01:25  15 march  2019
01:25  15 march  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

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Extreme poverty , abject poverty , absolute poverty , destitution, or penury, was originally defined by the United Nations (UN) in 1995 as "a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human

Extreme poverty is on the decline, but there are still lots of countries with crushing rates of subsistence living . A new report from the World Bank just landed, finding that a record low of 10% of humanity now live in But poverty rates aren’t anywhere close to equal between continents or even countries

Food stamp changes would mainly hurt those living in extreme poverty, study finds© Joe Raedle Image: Federal food stamps card

The Trump administration's proposed rule change to food stamp work requirements could leave hundreds of thousands of the most financially vulnerable Americans without the monthly assistance that allows them to purchase food, a new study finds.

The proposed rule written by the U.S. Department of Agriculture would tighten existing work requirements on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP or food stamps, by limiting states' ability to create waivers for areas that face high unemployment rates or a labor surplus.

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Several poverty experts acknowledged flaws with the official Census count, but described the Another convention for measuring poverty overall is to look at those with less than half the median A separate study from Princeton University economist Angus Deaton, also cited in the U.N. report

People living in poverty don’t have the means to weather the storms of life. So when there is a drought, or conflict, or illness, there is little money saved or assets on hand to help. In Ethiopia for example, repeated cycles of drought have caused harvest after harvest to fail, causing a widespread

The USDA rule change pertains to people between the ages of 18 and 49 who are childless and not disabled. Currently, this group is required to work at least 20 hours a week for more than three months over a 36-month period, but some states create waivers for certain areas because of various labor factors.

Those waivers often helped people who are severely economically disadvantaged, according to a study released Thursday by Mathematica Policy Research and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Ninety-seven percent of the SNAP participants who would be affected live in poverty, and 88 percent have household incomes at or below 50 percent of the poverty level or less than $600 a month — a much larger portion than the overall average.

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The U.N. finds growing numbers of Americans are living in the most impoverished circumstances. But could extreme poverty also be a feature of what is (although perhaps not for long) one of the The report concluded that the pervasiveness of poverty and inequality “are shockingly at odds with

Until very recently, extreme poverty in the world was the norm. See global and country-level data on the prevalence of extreme poverty and how and why this has changed . All of the evidence above suggests that the population living in extreme poverty has fallen very substantially in the last 200

Almost 80 percent live alone, the study said, and the average SNAP benefit equaled $181 per person every month.

"States are saying they have a particular understanding of what's happening in these communities that they get waivers for, but the proposed rule puts stricter limits on that," said Giridhar Mallya, senior policy officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "There may be people who have limited education and skills, and there are others in places without a lot of work that may want to and are able to work but are just unable to find employment."

Mallya said that it is within these details and individual situations that an image of how this Trump administration rule could "affect real people in real places" becomes clearer.

But approximately 755,00 people across the country would not meet the new work requirements and lose eligibility in three months, according to the USDA's own estimates, and various states would see different degrees of impact. The brunt of the losses would be felt by 11 states: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Washington.

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A study by the Agriculture Department found that food stamps , one of the country’s largest social safety net programs, reduced the poverty rate The food stamp program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program , or SNAP, reduced the poverty rate by nearly 8 percent

However, it appears that much of the poverty reduction in the last couple of decades almost exclusively comes from China The use of the poverty line of a day had long come under criticism for seeming arbitrary and using poor quality and limited data thus risking an underestimate of poverty .

The Trump administration maintains that these SNAP beneficiaries are taking advantage of the government program and can be removed from the rolls because they should be able to work.

"At USDA, our informal motto is 'Do Right and Feed Everyone,'" Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue wrote in a USA Today column about the rule change. "With these proposed improvements, we will 'do right' by the taxpayers and restore the dignity of work to the able-bodied who receive SNAP benefits. And, we will 'feed everyone' by ensuring the health and stability of SNAP for those who truly need it."

The Trump administration and House Republicans first attempted to get a similar rule passed through the Farm Bill at the end of 2018. None of those changes were included in the final legislation that was passed.

Craig Gundersen, an agricultural and consumer economics professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who has studied the program for more than two decades, maintains that using SNAP to compel people to work is fundamentally opposed to the mission of the program, which is to help feed the 12 percent of American households that the USDA says face food insecurity.

Gundersen said that it's incorrect to think that these SNAP recipients are taking advantage of the system.

"It's not like you have people who are college educated who previously had good jobs and are deciding to go on these programs," Gundersen said. "These individuals are facing a lot of other issues, and a lot of these people could be considered disabled."

But perception of the program has changed over the years, Gundersen explained. SNAP once enjoyed support on both sides of the aisle, and it worked well when it was left alone.

"SNAP is an anti-hunger program — full stop," he said. "It's not supposed to encourage people to work. It's supposed to end hunger in our country, and it does a fantastic job at that. Why bring work into this?"

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