Changes to SNAP could result in thousands of Floridians losing benefits

ORLANDO, Fla. — About 44,000 Floridians are at risk of losing their SNAP benefits.


Previously, people between 18 and 49 years old had to show proof of work to collect SNAP benefits.

However, the country’s deal to lift the debt ceiling expanded that to 18 to 54 years old.

Julie Sciarillo said since starting a job at United Against Poverty’s low-cost grocery store, her family moved out of a hotel and into an apartment.

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While things are trending up, she still makes under federal poverty guidelines. Right now, she’s reapplying for food stamps, a benefit she had but lost during the pandemic

The rules say she needed to work to maintain SNAP, but her job driving with Instacart became unsustainable.

“The car would breakdown a lot so I would have to donate plasma just to be able to work for Instacart,” Sciarillo said.

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Debt ceiling negotiations extended SNAP work requirements for older adults, meaning now, anyone between 18 and 54 has to prove they work 20 hours a week.

The new rules do say veterans, children just aging out of foster care, and the homeless are exempt.

The congressional budget office said overall, the changes will actually increase the number of people on SNAP by point 2%.

Anjali Vaya, executive director of United Against Poverty Orlando, sees the changes as both positive and negative. But as has been the case for the last few months, she thinks people desperate for food help and turning to her organization will only increase.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.