Since mid-January, five of Fortin’s families have withdrawn from the SNAP program. One, the single mother of three citizen daughters, had fled to Georgia to escape an abusive husband. Another, two green-card holders with four young children, were thinking of taking on third jobs to compensate for the lost benefits. These families represent a small fraction of Fortin’s caseload — she estimates she has signed 200 immigrant families up for SNAP over the past six months — but based on the calls she gets from other clients, she fears more cancellations are imminent.
“I get calls from concerned parents all the time: ‘should I take my kids out of the program?’” Fortin said. “They’re risking hunger out of fear … and my heart just breaks for them.”
Chattanooga is not an outlier here, either.