Tags: riots | food | stamp | cuts

Food Bank President Raises Specter of Riots After Food Stamp Cuts

Wednesday, 30 Oct 2013 01:06 PM

By Dan Weil

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A temporary increase in food stamps expires Oct. 31, cutting benefits for millions of Americans. And at least one food expert connects the reduction with a possibility of riots.

The government stimulus program that began in 2009 injected $45.2 billion into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the formal name for food stamps, according to the Associated Press.

That money pushed up the benefit to $668 for an average household of four from what would have been $588, AP reports. Starting in November, the benefit will be cut 5 percent to $632 a month.

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The reduction carries some disturbing ramifications, says Margarette Purvis, president of the Food Bank for New York City.

"If you look across the world, riots always begin typically the same way: when people cannot afford to eat food," she told Salon.

The cut means about 76 million meals “will no longer be on the plates of the poorest families” in New York City, she said.

“The fact that they’re going to lose what’s basically an entire week’s worth of food [per month], it’s pretty daunting,” she said.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities also is concerned about the cut.

"We can reasonably assume that a reduction in SNAP benefit levels of this size will significantly increase the number of poor households that have difficulty affording adequate food this fall," the liberal group said in a report.

Some Republicans say that the stimulus funding was never meant to be permanent.

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