Food stamp benefits drop Friday - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Food stamp benefits drop Friday

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Those who rely on food stamps to feed their families will find some of their benefits cut Friday.

That's because government stimulus money has run out for additions to what is called the SNAP program, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The most anyone will lose is $36 a month in benefits.  A household of two in Kentucky will lose $20 a month.

A spokesman for Dare to Care food bank says that's substantial for families who must stretch every penny.

"If you're cut by twenty dollars, that's going to be about seven to eight meals.  Let's put that into context.  In our community, the cost of a meal is about two dollars and twenty cents," Stan Siegwald said.

The cuts could bring more demand for food from various food pantries in the Louisville area, as people turn to them to replace what the extra food stamp money would have bought.

The benefits could be cut further later this year, as Congress negotiates a new farm bill. More than 47 million Americans receive the SNAP benefits.

Church leaders in eight southeastern states say their congregations won't be able to meet the increased needs of food stamp recipients if the federal program is cut as scheduled on Friday.

The cuts are expected to reduce the almost $80 billion program by almost $5 billion next year.

The cost of the program has more than doubled since 2008 as the economy has struggled.

The Rev. Betty Meadows, a Presbyterian leader in Charlotte, N.C., says "to cut programs now puts extra added strain on how we as a faith community respond."

The Rev. Russell Meyer, executive director of the Florida Council of Churches, calls the cuts "a special tax on people of faith."

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