Trump budget slashes food aid, would cost Ohio billions
Posted June 01, 2017 in Press Releases
President Donald Trump’s budget includes a 25 percent cut of $193 billion to food aid over the next 10 years. In Ohio, where more than 16 percent of households live with food insecurity, the pain will be felt by struggling families, in the state budget and throughout the economy, according to a new issue brief from Policy Matters Ohio.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is aimed at the nation’s neediest. Recipients must live at or below 130 percent of the poverty line ($31,590 for a family of four). In Ohio, 729,178 households received SNAP in April, 2017. Two-thirds of SNAP recipients in Ohio are children, elderly or adults with disabilities.
“SNAP is the nation’s largest and most effective food assistance program,” said Policy Matters State Policy Fellow Victoria Jackson. “It keeps society’s most vulnerable fed and healthy. President Trump’s budget takes aim at one of the most critical parts of our safety net.”
By shifting 25 percent of SNAP’s costs to the states, Trump’s budget would cost Ohio $599 million in 2023 and $4.2 billion over 10 years. If states choose not to absorb the full costs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture would allow states to reduce monthly benefits. Trump also proposes reducing minimum benefits for seniors and people with disabilities, capping household SNAP benefits at six people, and further restricting the ability to waive the three-month time limit for people living in economically distressed cities and counties.
SNAP not only keeps food on struggling Ohioans’ tables, it also helps keep the economy afloat during tough times. As people lose jobs, SNAP provides benefits to more eligible families. In a weak economy, economists estimate that $1 spent of SNAP benefits expands the economy by $1.70.
“If the president’s budget passes, more Ohioans will go hungry – especially children, seniors and the disabled,” Jackson said. “Our state will be saddled with new costs and our economy will take a hit. We need our senators and Congressional representatives to fight to protect SNAP.”