The Department of Agriculture has put forward new rules that would make it more difficult for some working-age adults to access SNAP food benefits. The suggested rule change comes after a failed effort by House lawmakers to tighten work requirements through the farm bill. Currently, states have flexibility to waive work requirements for some recipients depending on factors including the state’s unemployment rate. The new USDA rule would strip states of that general waiver option.
Host Frank Stasio speaks with Lindsey Haynes-Maslow, an assistant professor and extension specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences at North Carolina State University, about what the changes would mean for citizens’ health and the economy. Haynes-Maslow is also principal investigator for “Steps to Health,” a SNAP-Education program based at NC State and funded by the USDA. She recently wrote a piece about the proposed rule change for the publication "The Conversation."