A proposed rule change that would have eliminated food stamp eligibility for about 58,000 Missourians has been withdrawn by Gov. Jay Nixon.
The governor had sought to cut eligibility for unemployed adults without children, citing concerns over the amount of federal funds available for state-run food assistance programs.
Fellow Democrat and State Senator Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis says she’s elated by the governor’s reversal.
“Our democratic values lie on the fact that we look out for the indigent and the poor and those that can’t really fend for themselves,” says Nasheed. “I know that the governor has a heart, and he showed it when he reversed the decision.”
Jeanette Mott Oxford is a former state lawmaker who now heads the Missouri Association for Social Welfare. She says they’re delighted with the governor’s reversal.
“We have a huge problem with hunger in Missouri and this would make things worse,” says Oxford. “It certainly would do nothing to help people find work.”
Oxford now says advocates for the hungry should focus their attention on Congress and combat efforts to cut food stamp funding from the federal farm bill.
Gov. Nixon says since the partial federal government shutdown ended last week there’s now more certainty for federal food stamp funding.