Community reacts to possible change in SNAP program

By: Morgan Lentes Email
By: Morgan Lentes Email

HAZARD, Ky (WYMT) - Kentucky is considering changing the way Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funds are distributed.

Formerly known as "food stamps", SNAP funds are given out once a month.

But that could change after State Senator Jimmy Higdon of Lebanon suggested handing out assistance twice a month in order to give recipients more opportunities to eat healthier.

However, this is only a proposed change at this point.

Still, that has not stopped locals from speaking their mind on the topic and the reactions have been mixed.

In Perry County, John Pray said he does not see a problem with the changes as long as they accomplish what they are intended for.

"I think it is well worth the effort if that is the purpose of the change," said Pray.

Deloris Hall lives in Knott County and said she also sees the possible benefits of the switch.

"If it is split up, they might be able to sit down and plan out their meals," said Hall.

She added that eating healthy is a great thing to promote, especially with children.

"I think if we teach em to eat right when they are small, I think as they get bigger they will stick with it," said Hall.

But not everyone is happy about the possible changes.

In fact, many people posted on the WYMT Facebook page to air their frustrations with the SNAP program.

Patricia Engle suggested treating the program like the Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, food service program.

"This would prevent them from being used for 50 cases of pop only to be sold for cash," said Engle.

Rebecca Jo Reece-Barger echoed Engle's sentiment.

"Both my husband and I work and individuals with food stamps always eat and live better than we do," said Reece-Barger.

Beth Jurek is the Policy and Budget Director with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and said she will look into whether the funds can be split or not.

SNAP distributions are put on an electronic benefit transfer, or EBT, card.

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