Thousands of Hoosiers could lose food stamp benefits if proposed federal legislation becomes law

INDIANAPOLIS -- Thousands of Hoosiers could be impacted if the federal government changes the guidelines for getting food stamps.

The U.S. House is proposing legislation that would require able-bodied adults, ages 18 to 59, who are not pregnant, or have children under the age of 6, to work or participate in job training in order to take part in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.

The problem in Indiana could be the availability of job training programs.

"We served 5,400 Hoosiers in our SNAP impact program which is our job training program. Under the new requirement there would be an estimated 105,000 Hoosiers that would need job slots. There would be an issue getting people into those to have meaningful and quality job training programs," said Amy Carter, Indiana Institute for Working Families.

Francine Cox, who has been on SNAP for four years, supports the new work mandates.

"It's a good idea. You can make some extra money. Food stamps can't pay our bills," said Francine Cox, SNAP recipient.

SNAP recipients could also be locked out of the program for up to three years if they fail to work or enroll in job training, according to the proposed legislation.

If it bill becomes law, the new work requirements would take effect in 2021.

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