SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is going forward with new food stamp regulations they say will stop fraud, but advocates say they will kick 4 million Americans off the program.
The Springfield advocacy agency Arise For Social Justice predicts the widespread loss of food stamps will force many more families to seek assistance at community food pantries and the western Massachusetts food bank. The USDA is tightening regulations to prevent loopholes.
Charlotte Dickerson, a spokesperson for Arise told 22News, the state and the city may have to step in and help the families who will be losing their food stamps.
“The City Council and the mayor will push for ways for these exemptions so that Springfield, Hampden County, and western Massachusetts, in general, will not be subject to these awful draconian rules,” said Dickerson.
At present some 35,000 Massachusetts families receive food stamps from the USDA.
According to Arise For Social Justice, many of those families live right here in the Springfield area.