New Mexico Will Now Make it Harder to get Food Stamps
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez is trying to make it harder to retain food stamps. With an unemployment rate well above the national average, she wants to make people work for the food stamp program.
Gov. Martinez is trying to impose work, work training and job-search requirements on New Mexicans who receive benefits under the federal program formerly known as food stamps. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, (SNAP) has more than one fifth of New Mexico residents currently enrolled and it is not clear as to how many people will be affected by the changes if they do go through.
The new requirements Gov. Martinez is proposing would require parents of children older than 6 to participate in up to 80 hours a month of specified activities, such as community service in order to receive food assistance. Teenagers who aren’t in school also fall under the department’s proposal that would expand the age range of recipients subject to work requirements.
The program would also allow some good-cause exemptions that would allow some people to be on SNAP without the work requirements. No word on how long this process will take and if the changes will take place, but the wheels are in motion.