64,000 Louisianans face hunger after Gov. Bobby Jindal says ‘No’ to food stamp waiver

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Up to 64,000 Louisianans risk losing their food stamp benefits in January if Governor Bobby Jindal does not file a waiver of work requirement. This means adults between the ages of 18 and 49 who do not have dependents and are not working at least 20 hours a week, will lose their benefits. That's up to $194 per month.

"When you look at it, you'd rather have lights and running water, utilities to take care of my family but at the same time, they're hungry. What am I going to do," says Moore.

Sylvania Moore and Joanika Davis are two of thousands in the state facing this decision come next year.

"We can't really celebrate Thanksgiving because we're trying to make food stretch day-by-day with the benefits you do receive," says Davis.

"That one meal that I started yesterday, is going to last yesterday, today and hopefully tomorrow. That's stretching a meal. And hopefully, by tomorrow when it's all gone, you can come home and have something else you can put on a stove that last you through Friday, Saturday, Sunday," says Moore.

Moore's hours working as a chef were cut and now she is scraping by.

Davis lost her job six months ago and is still looking for employment.

Stand With Dignity,' a branch of 'New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice,' a grass-roots organization, says the required jobs don't exist in the Louisiana economy to begin with. There's one job for every two people seeking employment. The organization also says nearly 20% of Louisiana residents live under the poverty line.

Click here to sign a petition calling for Jindal to file the waiver.

Both women are asking Jindal to put politics to the side and consider what it feels like to be hungry and not know where your next meal is coming from.

"The government needs to walk in our shoes, like parents like me to understand that it's hard out here. We need help," says Davis.