Illinois lawmakers, Chicago leaders protest Trump administration's cuts to food stamp program

Illinois lawmakers and Chicago-area leaders are protesting a new rule from President Donald Trump's administration that will take able-bodied people off of the federal food stamp program.

The Trump administration announced last week the tightening of work requirements for those who receive benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP.

RELATED: Trump administration tightens food stamp work requirements

Under current rules, work-eligible able-bodied adults without dependents and between the ages of 18 and 49 can currently receive only three months of SNAP benefits in a three-year period if they don't meet the 20-hour work requirement. But states with high unemployment rates or a demonstrable lack of sufficient jobs can waive those time limits.

The new rule imposes stricter criteria that states must meet in order to issue waivers. The changes go into effect next year.

Roughly 688,000 SNAP recipients nationwide will lose the benefits, including between 90,000-140,000 in Illinois and about 50,000 in Cook County.

RELATED: Trump food stamps rule could affect up to 140K people in Illinois

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, of Illinois' 7th congressional district, and community leaders said Sunday that the cuts will affect Chicago's low-income communities.

"We're standing in a community where unemployment is at least 25-30%," Davis said.

"And so they may qualify for $134 a month to help them eat," he added.

ABC7 is awaiting comment from the Illinois GOP and offices of a few Republican congressmen on Sunday's protest.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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