A new proposal in Missouri aims to cut food stamp eligibility for people who don't work.
"Instead of being taught, you go to work and get a job and do the best, sometimes they're just raised thinking this is the way you live," said Cathy Haden, associate pastor at Faith Miracle Ministry in Hannibal.
Haden claims she's even seeing people offering to sell their food stamps. Haden said over the years she's seen people abusing the system, relying on the government rather than making money for themselves.
"When we did have our food pantry, they would come to one food pantry and they knew where the next church was that was giving things," Haden said. "It was kind of like a system. That's how they did their monthly shopping."
Under the proposed changes by the Missouri Department of Social Services, adults getting benefits in counties with unemployment rates lower than ten percent would have three months to either get a job working 20 hours per week or enroll in a federally-approved job-training program.
"The overall concept of the program is a good idea, it just needs a lot more closer monitoring to make sure that it's used the way it's supposed to be," Haden said.
Tequila Phillips is a Hannibal mom of three who said she hasn't qualified for food stamps for several years and said she feels the budget pinch.
"Food stamps; you're not taxed and with cash you're taxed," Phillips said. "So, when you go to the store with just cash you're overspending and you're not able to get all the food that you need because of the tax."
Instead, Phillips said she relies on food pantries like the one at Christ Apostolic Temple to help feed her family every month.
"It's just really hard when the government cuts down the food stamps and there's still people out there that just don't know where their resources are," Phillips said.
Under the proposal, adults who lose their job after the rule change would be eligible for food stamps for three months every three years.
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