WV Food Banks Fear Cuts to SNAP and TANF
West Virginia Public News Service, WTAP - Lawmakers may tighten access to West Virginia safety-net programs but food banks in the state say that would only raise the pressure on already-stretched feeding programs. Read
Legislation would expand work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, formerly food stamps, and add drug testing for some on Temporary Assistance To Needy Families (TANF).
Legislators have criticized what they describe as waste and abuse in the programs. But Cynthia Kirkhart, executive director with the Facing Hunger Food Bank in Huntington, says that badly underestimates the real level of hunger in the state.
"When benefits are reduced, the demand for food increases pretty dramatically," says Kirkhart.
According to the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, more than four out of five households receiving SNAP benefits in any given month have incomes below half the federal poverty line. Sean O'Leary, senior policy analyst with the center, says the folks on SNAP and TANF are generally the poorest of the poor.