FORT MYERS, Fla. The roughly 136,000 Southwest Floridians on food stamps face major changes under President Donald Trump’s budget proposal.
Trump’s plan would cut more than $190 billion from food stamps, a reduction of about 25 percent of the program.
“Even though I’m a Trump supporter, I think that that part is sad,” Lee County resident Tony Gonzalez said.
The Trump Administration believes the cuts would push many of the 42 million Americans who receive benefits from the program into the workforce.
“I think the problem is when people get on a program, it’s set up for a lifetime now,” Lee County resident John Moran said. “… It’s supposed to be a hand up not a hand out.”
Trump’s budget would stiffen food stamp eligibility requirements, but Lee County resident Judy Rowe contends eligibility standards are already too tough.
“We’re not eligible because we don’t have children at home, don’t have babies at home, but we need to eat also,” Rowe said.
The proposal would also add work requirements to the program.
“I think it’s a good thing,” tourist Gail Travis said. “I think we need to investigate a little more on who the people are that are receiving the food stamps and make sure that it is for a legitimate reason.”
Still, the changes may never come, since Trump’s budget requires congressional approval. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers expressed misgivings Tuesday, when the Trump administration released its proposal.