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Food Pantry CEO Responds To Proposed SNAP Changes

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LEXINGTON, Ky (LEX 18) -- A proposed bill in the US House of Representatives could affect about two million people on food stamps. Part of the Agriculture and Nutrition Act would increase work requirements to qualify for aid. 

God's Pantry is stocked with tons of food, help to feed hundreds of thousands across Kentucky, but it is one small part of helping needy families. 

"SNAP provides about 12 meals for every one meal that a food bank can provide," said God's Pantry CEO Michael Halligan. 

CEO Michael Halligan agrees with certain parts of the proposed Agriculture and Nutrition Act, but worried about the work requirements. It would require food stamp recipients 59-years-old and younger to work 20 hours. That would include parents with children between the ages and 6 and 18-years-old.  

"Our concern is in order for people to get back to work, they have to be well nourished. To be able to be thinking well in an interview, and to get that job," said Halligan.

A Lexington resident named Becky from Lexington said she agrees with the proposed work requirements.

"Definitely if you're young and healthy, you should be out there working," said Becky. "It gives you a sense of self-worth, and it motivates you to get up every day and do better, instead of just taking what you can get."

"We want to get people back to work. I'm just not convinced that SNAP is the right place to force people to get back to work in order to receive the benefit," said Halligan.

The House is expected to vote on the bill this week. 

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