Spitzer Proposes Overhaul of Food Stamp Program

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The Spitzer administration wants an overhaul of New York's food stamp program so more people qualify for the federal benefit. The changes include lifting a fingerprint requirement for working families and allowing those with more than $2,000 in the bank to qualify for the program.

REPORTER: JC Dwyer, from the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, says the current restrictions keep families in poverty.

DWYER: For the culture of intimidation in regards to applying for food stamps, and finger printing is just part of that culture. If they remove that as well as limits that are keeping people from saving for homes or for college education, or having a car that they need to drive to work, we believe a lot more working families would be able to take advantage of this benefit.

REPORTER: Spitzer also proposed allowing people to apply for food stamps over the phone. Right now, they must come in for a face-to-face interview. The federal government must still approve the changes. The goal of Spitzer's program is to sign up an additional $220,000 people for food stamps by the end of next year.