Food stamp benefits are being cut, affecting more than 47 million Americans today, resulting in a loss of 21 meals per month for a family of four. The temporary boost to the federal program comes to an end without a new budget from a deadlocked Congress to replace it, according to USA Today.
A family of four who would typically receive $668 per month from the former Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP), will now be cut by $36. The program benefits one in seven Americans and is administered by the Department of Agriculture, authorized in a five-year omnibus farm bill covering all agricultural programs.
Full Article courtesy of USA Today:
More than 1 million elderly or individuals with a disability, along with 2.3 million children in the states of California and Texas will feel the impact of cuts to food stamps, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. More than 4 million California residents will also be affected, which equivalents up to 21 individual meals per month. This information is based on calculations used by the Department of Agriculture, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, head of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, reports the state’s charities and food pantries, which distributed $227 million in food to needy residents in 2012, and now will not be able to make up their $190 million deficit in 2014, The (Cleveland)Plain Dealer reports.
“We will have to do what low-income people do, which is reduce the amount of food we hand out and ration,” she said. Hamler-Fugitt tells the newspaper that she expects increased hunger in the state, affecting the health of senior citizens and people with disabilities and forcing more school children to go to classes without eating.
Last year, the average monthly benefit per household for all 50 states and the District of Columbia was $278, according to Stateline, the daily news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts.
“(They) will take away more food in our city than we, Food Bank for New York City, the nation’s largest food bank, distribute in an entire year,” states Margarette Purvis, the Food Bank’s president and CEO, the Daily News of New York reports.
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“It took us years to get here, but we are here,” House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said. “Let’s not take years to get it done.”
Contributing: Associated Press