Flipping through a food stamp application, it’s clear there’s not much to recommend it.
The food stamp recipients in Florida have a lot of other things going on in their lives that are far more important than the money they’re spending.
Some of them might even qualify for food stamps in the first place.
The Florida Department of Health and Human Services says the food stamp population has doubled since 2006, to more than 17.5 million people.
It’s not just that they’re all getting food stamps.
The number of applicants is also on the rise.
The state of Florida, under a state budget plan that passed last year, cut its food stamp eligibility from 18 to 13 weeks.
And while the program was supposed to phase out by the end of 2019, it won’t be completely phased out until 2020.
The Florida Department, through its website, says it is “currently assessing its eligibility to meet the new requirements of the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in 2020.”
According to a spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, the agency is “actively evaluating eligibility and implementation of SNAP” as of May.
This could mean Florida is in for a lot more cuts to SNAP eligibility over the next several years.
So what are the reasons for the SNAP cut?
According to the Department, the USDA is concerned that the expansion of SNAP benefits in the wake of the Great Recession has increased hunger and the use of food stamps to pay for those costs.
According to the USDA, “food stamp recipients are more likely to be poor, have limited income, and to be enrolled in food assistance programs or are in the food insecure.””SNAP provides food assistance benefits to eligible low-income households, but food stamp use is more than half of all SNAP benefits,” according to the Florida Department.
“SNAP is a public benefit, meaning that it is provided to eligible individuals regardless of income, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, or health status.”
According the Department’s website, SNAP benefits are split between food stamps and cash assistance programs.
Cash assistance is used to pay the cost of housing, utilities, and other basic needs for low- and moderate-income families.
SNAP benefits cover the cost for basic groceries, groceries, and cooking gas.
The USDA’s website also says that in 2018, “more than 4.7 million people in Florida had received food stamps as of March 1.”
But that number includes just a small portion of the state’s total food stamp users.
“According to USDA, the food assistance population increased by about 2 million during the first six months of 2019.
However, this is due to the increase in SNAP benefits for Florida’s Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program recipients,” the Florida State University School of Public Health says on its website.
The Department of the Agriculture, through the Florida Division of Health, says that SNAP is “the largest public benefit program in the United States and has the greatest potential for growth.”
The state’s Food and Nutrition Service, which is in charge of administering SNAP benefits, has also said that the program has seen growth in enrollment.
In addition, the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting has found that some Florida food stamp applicants may be receiving benefits that were previously earmarked for other applicants, which the department has said are not covered by SNAP.
For example, according to data from the Florida Agriculture Department, more than 50,000 people in the state were receiving food stamps at the end (July) of 2018.
The data shows that of those 50,542 applicants who were previously receiving SNAP benefits at the beginning of 2018, only 7,938 were receiving benefits.
That means more than 60,000 applicants were receiving SNAP at the same time as other applicants.
The department says that “approximately 5,400 of these previously earlisted applicants are eligible for SNAP benefits.”
“While the number of SNAP applicants receiving benefits has increased by approximately 2 million since the beginning date of the program in 2019, the total number of eligible applicants has decreased by more than 25,000, or nearly 7 percent,” the department says.
According to state data, Florida is the fourth state in the country to experience a food assistance cut in the last 10 years.
According the Florida Food and Drug Administration, Florida saw its food assistance program benefits decrease by $6.7 billion in 2017, the fourth consecutive year it has experienced a food aid cut.