SAN ANTONIO — Inside a bustling warehouse, it's not hard to see the major need the San Antonio Food Bank fulfills. "We feed about 58,000 people each week," San Antonio Food Bank President Eric Cooper told KENS 5.

In the new year, that number has the potential to grow tremendously.

"A little tiny change of SNAP can set us back at the Food Bank dramatically," Cooper said.

Three new rules to the program have the potential to impact roughly 3.7 million according to CBS News. The three changes the USDA is considering are: 

  • Removing automatic enrollment for families who qualify for other government benefits
  • Reducing how much people can deduct for utilities like heat
  • Requiring more able-bodied adults to work at least 20 hours a week to receive benefits

The last proposal has already been finalized and will be implemented in April.

"I'll tell ya, I'm anxious," Cooper said. "Where will they turn when this policy goes into effect and they're left without benefits? They're coming to the Food Bank. They're going to lean on us more than they already do and our community will have to make up that difference."

"I just don't think we're going to be able to grow that fast or pivot to meet that need. We can't food bank our way out of this," he added.  

While Cooper doesn't know just how large its impact will be, he and his team are preparing as best they can as they vow to continue to do all they can to keep San Antonio fed.

"We'll absolutely be there if they lose their benefits." 

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