New food stamp rules impacting KY, IL

New food stamp rules impacting KY, IL

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - Tens of thousands could be losing their food stamps as new federal rules will impact people in the Tri-State.

Starting in April there will be new work requirements to keep getting food stamps. It is putting nearly 32,000 Kentucky residents at risk of losing their benefits.

With this new USDA rule on some minds, they are already making changes and preparing so they’re ready by April.

Ernest Whitten Jr. relies on food stamps. He won’t lose his food stamps because he got a job before the new rules.

“I’m fixing to go to work next Monday," said Whitten Jr. "Packing Unlimited. It won’t impact me because I like to work.”

For those not working, benefits could get rolled back.

The Trump Administration passing a rule people must work at least 20 hours a week for more than three months over a three year period to qualify for food stamps.​ The rules impacting those from ages 18 to 49, who are childless and not disabled.

“It’s just going to affect the whole county. It’s concerning because we have that age group,” said Angela Settle, the head of Help Office of Owensboro Inc.​

The Help Office of Owensboro Inc. helps 6,000 people with food, clothing and emergency assistance. With the new rules, they expect more people coming through their doors in April.​

“If they’re going to have to start buying their food, they’re going to come in with eviction notices with their rent that needs to be paid," said Settle. "They’re going to come in with utility disconnects.”

Looking ahead, the Help Office of Owensboro Inc is starting to collect food donations hoping to help if there is an influx of people.

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