Things That Matter

Puerto Ricans Want To Know Why Their Disaster Relief Aid Has Been Delayed For So Long

Earlier this month, people breathe a sigh of relief after President Donald Trump finally approved a relief budget for Puerto Rico and other Americans on the mainland who were also recovering from natural disasters. The $19 billion approved budget came more than a year and a half after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Needless to say, Trump was dragging his feet to give Puerto Rico the money they deserved to survive. Now it seems he is dragging his feet once again.

Two weeks since he approved the relief money to Puerto Rico, the people have yet to receive the money include for food stamps.

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This couldn’t come at a more terrible time because, as CNN reports, Puerto Rico’s food stamp program was shut down six months ago. This money isn’t just for food but for basic necessities such as hygiene products, diapers, and water.

The delay in food stamps not only affects Puerto Ricans on the island but also possibly citizens on the mainland.

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According to Eater, the food stamp program is going under a major overhaul which could delay more than 400,000 households without food stamps.

“Currently, federal guidelines allow states to offers families assistance if their annual gross income is 200 percent of the federal poverty level,” Eater reports. “The new limits, which officials anticipate will be introduced soon, are expected to prevent states from providing food assistance to families earning more than 130 percent of poverty guidelines or $33,475 for a family of four.”

So what’s the holdup? A lot of red tape, which could mean delays until September.

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The Puerto Rican government is supposed to make “required system changes,” CNN reports before they get their funds.

Glorimar Andújar Matos, executive director of the Departamento de la Familia, told the Washington Post that more than a million people on the island rely on food stamps, which means if they don’t get those funds soon, there will be another crisis on our hands.

READ: After Delay Caused By Border Wall And Trump’s Feud with Puerto Rico, Congress Finally Passes $19.1 Billion Disaster Aid Package

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