Iowa Farmers Union President Aaron Lehman says his group supports the litigation. “Many, many, many people here in Iowa and around the Midwest are food insecure and have not experienced the economic recovery that others have,” Lehman says. “By putting this rule in place that’s made a lot of people who are at risk and are vulnerable in a really bad spot.”
The rules call for stricter work requirements for those receiving SNAP benefits. Lehman says they want the court to issue a ruling forcing the U.S.D.A. to rewrite the regulation. “We want to see the U.S.D.A. go back and do the rulemaking the way it ought to be,” Lehman says. “It ought to reflect the values that were put in place in the Farm Bill that governs the program and the program ought to be out there to help people where it’s needed appropriately.”
Lehman says most of those who’ve been getting SNAP assistance are in dire economic circumstances. “There are many studies that show that the vast majority of people who take advantage of SNAP benefits are people who are caring for a needy adult, caring for a child,” Lehman says. “They are not what we consider available to work because they’re occupied with these other things.”
Reports say the rule changes would deny food stamps to nearly 700,000 SNAP recipients.
(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)