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Congressman Conaway Talks About New Farm Bill That Could Increase Food Stamp Cuts

Updated:

Brian Wise
NewsWest 9

WEST TEXAS - People on SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, are going to see their food budget for the month get smaller. From legislation passed in 2010, cuts have been made to people's food stamps. Now, a new farm bill might increase the cuts. Congressman Mike Conaway would like people who are the most needy getting nutrition assistance.

"If we get the policy correct, it will let the numbers drive themselves by way of example. Ten percent of the food stamp recipients are able bodied adults under the age of 50 with no dependency and there is no work requirement for those folks," Conaway said. 

The oil boom has employed many in the Permian Basin, but there are many who have to deal with the high cost of living and no oil job. More seniors are going to the food pantries in West Texas. Jose Trevino with the West Texas Food Bank has seen it firsthand. 

"A lot of our elderly are on a fixed income. They don't receive as big of benefits so we are seeing an increase in our elderly population visiting our pantries," Trevino said.  

But Conaway says the government plans to keep food stamps, despite the cuts.

"We plan to spend $800 billion on food stamps over the next 10 years," Conaway said.  

About four million people in Texas are in SNAP. People with Lone Star Cards would see their monthly food allowance go down by as much as $36. If additional cuts are made to food stamps, Conaway says it probably won't be passed until Thanksgiving.