Families, agencies brace for big food stamp cuts | GainesvilleTimes.com

4
Aug

Families, agencies brace for big food stamp cuts | GainesvilleTimes.com

The point of desperation for Jeff Bagwell happened more than a year ago when he came home from his job delivering pizzas to find all his wife and two kids had to eat was peanut butter and ramen noodles.

The Bagwell family gets help from food stamps through a federal program called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, but that help is in jeopardy.

Food stamp recipients already face a reduction of about $27 a month in assistance starting later this year because of a stimulus program that is expiring. But the fate of future funding for the program is up in the air as Congress debates cuts to the program’s budget, some U.S. House leaders advocating tens of billions in deeper cuts.

“It would be really hard,” Allie Bagwell, Jeff’s wife, said if the family’s benefits were significantly reduced. “For starters, we wouldn’t be able to eat nearly as healthy as we do now because healthy food is more expensive.”

The Senate passed a bill in June that reduced the SNAP program by about $4 billion over the next 10 years. House Republicans are preparing legislation that would cut food stamps by as much as $4 billion annually, or $40 billion in the next decade, after failing to pass a farm bill that included $2 billion in annual cuts over the same time period.

“There were those that thought the cuts were too much and there was those who thought the cuts weren’t enough,” said Laura Lester, director of Advocacy and Education for the Atlanta Community Food Bank. “The defeat, from our perspective, was a victory.”

via Families, agencies brace for big food stamp cuts.

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