Native Groups Worry About Proposed Food Stamp Changes

Apr 23, 2018

Some Native American groups are critical of recently introduced legislation to renew the farm bill. They say proposed changes to the food stamp program, known as "SNAP", could devastate Indian Tribes. KNAU’s Justin Regan has more.

Credit Associated Press

  

  

Under the proposed legislation, all adults receiving food stamps would have to work 20 hours a week or be in a training program to keep the benefits. Exceptions would be made for seniors, pregnant women, people with disabilities and individuals caring for a child younger than 6. House Republicans say the changes will help people get jobs and climb out of poverty. But Zach Ducheneaux with the Native Farm Bill Coalition says it’s not that simple.

"The work is just not there to mandate people put in 20 hours somewhere to get the bare minimum of nutritional needs met," says Ducheneaux. "And that’s the case in much of Indian Country."

Ducheneaux says the legislation doesn’t seem to take into consideration the remoteness and lack of job opportunities on many Indian reservations, which have some of the highest unemployment rates in the country.