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4 States Under Threat of SNAP Benefits

The four states in the U.S. are about to change the SNAP benefits as the lawmakers are considering some bills.

March 11, 2024

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the largest federal food assistance program for low-income families is about to change in several states as lawmakers are considering bills to restrict access or change the eligibility requirements.

SNAP benefits, also known as food stamps, are about to change in four states: Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, and West Virginia. SNAP Benefits are meant for low-income families and families who have no income. With the help of SNAP benefits, such families can get groceries for themselves.

The SNAP program is funded by the federal government but as far as the distribution is concerned, then each state is responsible for distributing to the ones who need them to buy food and groceries. The recipients can make use of SNAP benefits via an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card to buy food and drink at the participating stores. Some states have boosted SNAP by widening access whereas other states are working in the opposite direction.


The lawmakers in Kentucky’s House of Representatives voted to approve House Bill 367 in February. House Bill 367 will implement a financial asset test and make income requirements stricter for the ones relying on food stamps.

The gross income limit which refers to the money earned before applying taxes and deductions will be reduced from 200 percent of the federal poverty level to 130 percent as per the bill. The bill is currently under review by the state Senate’s economic development, tourism, and labor committee.


The next state that is about to change its SNAP benefits is Maryland. A bill has been put forward by Republican Representative Andy Harris to limit the amount of food that SNAP recipients can buy using their EBT cards. The main purpose of this action is to eliminate the consumption of unhealthy foods from the types of products the recipients buy.

Andy Harris said, “If SNAP more effectively addressed nutrition, it could help reduce the prevalence of obesity, which in turn would lower healthcare costs in the U.S. and help address the country’s long-term fiscal challenges”.

He also said that the most important first step would be to restrict sweetened beverages from SNAP. Besides this, Harris also attempted to pilot a similar program and that too in five U.S. states but the spending measures shared by Congress revealed that he was unsuccessful and suffered a major blow.

Democratic Party also released a summary saying that it has successfully eliminated extreme policies which were proposed by the House Republicans such as the Republican proposal for a SNAP Choice pilot program that will have limited food choices for the participants of the SNAP.

Harris also said, “I am surprised that the Democrats, who are so interested in health equity, adamantly opposed converting the SNAP program to a healthier food program, which would result in healthier outcomes for minorities overrepresented in the SNAP program. Obesity, diabetes, and hypertension are all more prevalent in those communities—and a more nutritious diet is accepted by experts as a means to deal with preventing and treating those diseases. Food is medicine.”


The SNAP recipients in Nebraska would be asked to enroll in a work and training program if legislation passed by Senator Ben Hansen gets approved. According to the legislation, all able-bodied recipients can participate in the program even if they are not currently working.
The SNAP Next Step program is already there in the state but is voluntary now.

Ben Hansen said, “Our economy, our budget, our tax revenues, and most importantly those who find themselves in difficult situations will benefit from the changes my bill will make for those who receive SNAP. We need these reforms. Nebraska has a workforce shortage crisis. There are help wanted signs everywhere and 61,000 open jobs in Nebraska.”

West Virginia

West Virginia lawmakers are reviewing a bill that would see all individuals over the age of 17 and below the age of 60 to an employment and training program similar to Nebraska.

As per the current requirements, able-bodied adults without dependents will be asked to work to receive the SNAP benefits to the ones aged between 18-52.

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Higham Aliss. “SNAP Benefits Under Threat in These 4 States”. News Week, March 11, 2024,
SNAP Benefits Under Threat in These 4 States (

Last Updated: September 20, 2021