RALEIGH - North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is criticizing a state budget provision by Senate Republicans that his administration says would block federal food stamp benefits to more than 130,000 people who qualify because they’re also receiving other government benefits.
The change approved in the Senate budget proposal last week would roll back eligibility requirements for what’s called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that had been expanded during the Great Recession.
Households making no more than slightly above the federal poverty level would qualify for the food help if the provision became law. That would put added pressure on already stretched food pantries and make it harder for families to move out of poverty, advocates say. In Buncombe County, 3,100 people would lose food assistance, of which 1,100 are children. Across the region, more than 9,500 people would lose the assistance, 33 percent younger than age 18
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