MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thousands of Minnesotans will likely lose their food stamps under new eligibility cuts.

Last month President Trump’s administration announced that benefits under the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) would be limited to adults ages 18 to 49 without dependents. The Minnesota Department of Human Services says that would leave 8,000 Minnesotans without food.

The average SNAP recipient receives $127 dollars a month, or just under a $1.27 for a meal. With more proposed changes to food stamp eligibility on the table, DHS says hunger would increase in Minnesota.

“These cuts mean more hungry neighbors,” Second Harvest Heartland CEO Allison O’Toole said. “When I think about it from a network perspective, a hunger relief system perspective, we are simply going to be overwhelmed.”

Second Harvest Heartland is the second-largest food bank in the country. O’Toole says the organization would need to make up the gap if some SNAP recipients lose their benefits.

Patience Kollie and John Spinola in Brooklyn Park say they survive on food stamps after Kollie went on medical leave, leaving the family on one income.

“Doing anything to SNAP is going to make the poor more poor,” Spinola said.

Officials say one in 11 Minnesotans are food insecure. The first cut to SNAP benefits will go into effect in April.

Kate Raddatz

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