MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thousands of Minnesotans could be kicked off food stamps under new Trump administration rules.

State officials have until next week to file objections to the plan which will take food stamps away from almost two million low-income families nationwide.

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The new rules would disqualify tens of thousands of Minnesota families who earn more than $27,000 a year.

The Trump administration says it could save $2.5 billion a year by ending food stamps in Minnesota for families earning up to $34,000 a year, requiring families be on welfare for at least six months — and testing their income and assets.

The new Trump rules would literally take food off the table for thousands of Minnesotans. Forty-three states, including Minnesota, don’t test for assets like houses or 401ks. And they automatically sign up low-income families earning up to $34,000 a year.

In 2018, 416,000 Minnesotans got food stamps. Their average benefit: $110 a month. That’s $1.22 per meal.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services estimates more than 35,500 people will lose food benefits under the new rules, including:

  • 18,000 children
  • 8,800 parents
  • 3,200 seniors
  • 2,900 disabled adults

And that’s not the whole story. Food stamp cuts will hit Midwesterners harder than the rest of the country:

  • 15% of Minnesota families will lose food stamps
  • 17% in North Dakota
  • 18% in Wisconsin
  • 16% in Iowa

The Trump administration cites fraud and abuse as the reasons for the change. Federal investigators report $592 million in misspent food stamp payments. That’s about less than 1% of the total program.

More than 40 million people receive food assistance every year in the United States. Three million could lose food stamps under the proposed rules.

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Here are some of the sources we used for this Reality Check:

USDA: Revision Of SNAP Categorical Eligibility

The State Of Obesity: New Research Analyzes State-Level Impact Of USDA Proposal To End SNAP Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility

Congressional Research Service: SNAP — Categorical Eligibility

Minnesota Dept. Of Human Services: Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility

Forbes: The Facts About Food Stamp Fraud

Washington Examiner: Trump’s Welcome Rule Change — No More Food Stamps For Millionaires

Washington Examiner: Food Stamp Mispayments Are Way Up This Year. It Has Nothing To Do With Fraud

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