Everyone on Food Stamps – Your Benefits are Going Down $36 starting November 1st

Millions of American families could face a sparse holiday table when food stamps benefits get reduced in November, and that could be just the start of deeper cuts to the program to feed poor families.

Crying-Girl-Photo-by-D-Sharon-Pruitt-300x300The modern-day food stamp plan, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is scheduled to scale back benefits for all recipients on Nov. 1 because a recession-era boost in benefits is expiring.

The cut comes as lawmakers also are considering billions of dollars of reductions to the overall SNAP program, which has grown substantially in recent years amid the weak economy and high unemployment.

The program is now serving more than 23 million households, or nearly 48 million people, according to the most recent government data through June.

The USDA says the average monthly benefit is about $275 per household.

The exact reduction depends on the recipients’ situation, but a family of four with no other changes in circumstances will receive $36 less per month, according to the USDA. At today's average prices, that translates to four fewer whole chickens each month.

Stacy Dean, vice president for food assistance policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said that can be a major hit for a family that is already struggling with such low wages that they can’t afford food on their own.

“For those of us who spend $1.70 a day on a latte this doesn’t seem like a big change, but it does kind of really highlight that millions of families are living on an extremely modest food budget,” she said.

(complete original article)



SNAP Benefits Are Changing

Why are my benefits changing?
Your benefits are changing for two reasons. First, your benefits will change due to the costs of living. These changes happen every year. Second, your benefits will change because a law called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) raised SNAP benefits to help people affected by the recession and the part of the law that raised SNAP benefits is ending.

When are my benefits changing?
On October 1, your benefits may go up a little bit due to changes in the costs of living. On November 1, your benefits will go down due to the end of the extra benefits provided by the 2009 law.

How much are my benefits going down on November 1?  
Your benefits depend on many things like income, household size and expenses.  So it is hard to say exactly how your benefits will change.  If you live in a household of 4 and nothing else changes, your benefit would go down $36.

How can I eat healthy on a low budget?
Here are some places you can find tips to help you prepare healthy meals on a low budget:

The Recipe Box can help you find healthy, low cost recipes, and create cookbooks and shopping lists.  Use it to search for recipes based on total cost or cost per serving.

What should I do if I need food right away?
Contact your regional food bank and ask for the nearest food distribution site.  Or call your State’s information line and ask for the nearest food pantry or food distribution site.


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