RALEIGH (August 2, 2013) — 1,708,000 people in North Carolina will see a cut in their food assistance benefits this fall, when a temporary boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) is set to expire, according to new data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) discussed in a new report from the Washington, DC-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
All of the more than 47 million Americans including 22 million children who receive SNAP, known as Food and Nutrition Services in North Carolina, will see their food assistance reduced when a modest boost in benefits to SNAP recipients that policymakers included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to strengthen the economy and ease hardship expires on October 31.
For a family of three, that cut will mean a reduction of $29 a month— $319 for the remaining 11 months of the fiscal year. This is a serious loss for families whose benefits, after this cut, will average less than $1.40 per person per meal.
In addition to helping to feed hungry families, SNAP is one of the fastest, most effective ways to stimulate a struggling economy. Every $1 increase in SNAP benefits generates about $1.70 in economic activity.
The across-the-board cuts scheduled for November will reduce the program by $5 billion in fiscal year 2014 alone. Cuts of that magnitude will have a significant impact on low-income families.
On top of these across-the-board cuts to the program, the U.S. House of Representatives is considering and could vote on even deeper cuts to the program in the coming weeks. This could leave many families and their children without assistance to put food on the table when they need it most.
“Given persistent and high levels of economic hardship for North Carolina families, cuts to this critical support that ensures families and particularly children don’t go hungry will be a serious blow,” said Alexandra Sirota, Director of the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. “The additional impact on the economy will impact all North Carolinians as our economy struggles to sustain the economic recovery.”
Read the full report at this link and click here for a factsheet about how cuts to food assistance will affect North Carolina.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Alexandra Forter Sirota, firstname.lastname@example.org, 919.423.1914 (cell); Jeff Shaw, email@example.com, 503.551.3615 (cell).
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