The administration said early in December it would make it harder for states to keep residents in the US food stamp program, now formally called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Under the new policy, the administration will end benefits for nearly 700,000 people. They also plan to target families who have high childcare and housing costs.
Some states will be affected very badly like New Jersey where the policy would cut benefits to nearly 12,000 residents, including many households with children, elderly or disabled members and working families.
Also, there will be a 30% cut to benefits in Vermont, where one in five low-income people, who rely on food stamps, could no longer be eligible to participate.
In Michigan, one in seven would no longer receive food aid, with an estimated 15% cut in benefits.
Republicans have supported the Trump administration’s attack on nutrition assistance, saying such a policy will make Amricans work harder.
US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has said the changes would move more “able-bodied” adults into the workplace.
Democrats, however, have criticized the plan, which would end the provision of free food to 36 million Americans.
Democrat Mikie Sherrill has issued a statement calling the food stamp program “our first line of defense to combat hunger and food insecurity. The program supports 818,000 New Jerseyans, 67 percent of which are families with children.