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What SNAP Changes Mean For Food Banks in Mississippi

What SNAP Changes Mean For Food Banks in Mississippi
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The Trump administration is proposing changes to SNAP, also known as food stamps. MPB’s Alexandra Watts reports on what this would mean for Mississippi – the most food insecure state in the nation.

Leland Food Pantry serves residents in a small Mississippi Delta town.

Nancy King, who is the director of the pantry, said the meat, canned goods and other food item are an additional source of help.

“Most of the people that come here are getting SNAP benefits," King said. "But, they will come at the time when it might be two weeks before they are eligible for the benefits. So, it’s just like they are running low on food and when they get their stamps, they will be okay.”

But the number of people receiving SNAP might change.

In most states, households enrolled in programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families are automatically eligible for SNAP – even if their income is past SNAP’s eligibility.

The United States Department of Agriculture says this is costing taxpayers money. The department wants everyone who applies for federal assistance to prove their income and assets.

Marilyn Blackledge of Mississippi Food Network said those affected by the cuts are still in need of help.

“Hunger in Mississippi is across the board. More people across the board might rely on getting food to feed their families from some of our pantries.”

Blackledge said her organization is preparing to help food pantries that might see an increase in people they help.

The Mississippi Department of Human Services could not immediately confirm not how many Mississippians will be affected.