Tags: food stamps | SNAP | cuts | income

Potential Food Stamp Cutbacks on Horizon

Wednesday, 13 Feb 2013 11:57 AM

By John Morgan

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The nearly 47 million Americans who receive government food stamps could see their monthly allowance cut this year if Congress does not act to keep funding in place.

Recipients got an $80 monthly raise back in 2009 during the height of the recession, but the increase was temporary and is set to expire October 31, according to NBC News.

“The recovery isn’t playing out the same way for folks at the lower income on the income scale,” said Stacy Dean, vice president for food assistance policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “Families being able to afford less food is fundamentally the impact.”

Editor's Note: Startling Proof of the End of America’s Middle Class. Details in the Video

The cutback may be relatively small, approximately $25 for a family of four. But most people who receive food assistance — now known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — are in dire financial circumstances, NBC said. A recent report found the median annual household income for SNAP users was only $18,014 in 2011, far below the national average of $50,502.

Use of the SNAP program has jumped sharply in recent years, as the United States has struggled with the weak economic recovery. About 46.6 million people used SNAP in 2012, up from about 26.3 million in 2007.

SNAP benefits can only be used for food items. The Department of Agriculture estimated nearly all benefits are used at grocery stores or farmer’s markets within 30 days.

The latest Department of Agriculture data show the number of food stamp recipients are still increasing, and rose by 141,067 in November, according to The Christian Science Monitor.

That means that 19.53 percent of the U.S. population now receives food stamps, The Monitor reported.

In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker earlier this month proposed that single, able-bodied adults who are on food stamps be required to undergo job training as a condition of receiving the benefits, according to the Wisconsin Reporter.

In Texas, legislators have introduced bills to prevent food stamp recipients from using the benefits to buy “junk food” such as sweetened beverages, candy, potato or corn chips and cookies, The Daily Caller reported.

Editor's Note: Startling Proof of the End of America’s Middle Class. Details in the Video

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