The number of Texas food stamps recipients has skyrocketed since President Donald Trump signed an executive order on food stamps last summer, prompting the Department of Agriculture to say the program is underfunded and in need of significant improvements.
“I’ve spent the last few months trying to figure out how we can do this better,” said Scott Hager, a public policy professor at Texas A&M University who has studied the program.
“I’ve been really frustrated.
We’ve spent billions of dollars on this, and we’ve got to make sure it works.
But, like everyone else, we’re being worried out of our minds.”
The USDA is currently working with states to figure how to improve the program, which was established in 1965 to help low-income families with small businesses and small farms.
The USDA said it’s been trying to make changes to help address the concerns of people who have already spent more than 30 percent of their income on food, but those efforts are still under way.
A USDA spokesperson told Newsweek that there are currently no changes planned for the program as of February 2019.
According to Hager and other advocates, the Trump administration is targeting some recipients more than others, and some people may have had their food stamps cut by 50 percent because of this.
Some food stamp benefits have been cut for some people due to a health condition, which the USDA has described as a “medical condition.”
The agency has also told people to expect more cuts, including an increase in the maximum amount of time it will take for a recipient to receive food stamps, according to the Associated Press.
Hager said he’s had to make the difficult decision of whether or not to give up his dog.
“We had a couple of cases where we couldn’t take him home,” Hager said.
“He was just so healthy, and then we had another case where he had a seizure.
That was like, I can’t take my dog home now.”
The USDA said that while it doesn’t know what caused the food stamp recipient’s seizures, it said they are “unlikely to have been related to the dog’s medical condition.”
Hager and others have been urging the Trump Administration to provide better information on the eligibility of the program to people with a medical condition and to ensure that food stamp funds are not used to purchase pets.