Families tighten budgets with food stamp cuts - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Families tighten budgets with food stamp cuts

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LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Those who rely on food stamps now have to get by on a little less.

That's because government stimulus money has run out for additions to the SNAP program.

If you depend on SNAP, you've probably already noticed you have less money this month.

WDRB talked to one family who says with more cuts, they're going to have to stretch every penny.

Crystal Shuler and her husband have six children.

For four years, they've relied on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to put food on the table.

"I do everything I can to save money," she said.

Shuler found out Friday her budget is about to get tighter.

"At the beginning of last month, we were getting $316 and it went down to $240," said Shuler.

In 2009, stimulus funding boosted every participating household's benefits by 13.6 %.

But those benefits have run out.

"When I called my balance this morning, there was a recording from the government talking about it."

Shuler says that will change the way she shops.

"Today I went to the store and only got basics and stuff."

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

Reports show the program has more than doubled since 2008 as the economy has struggled.

Shuler's family is bigger than average but even smaller households will feel the impact.

"It does affect everyone, especially the people that are on it, pretty drastically," Shuler told WDRB.

A household of two in Kentucky will lose $20 a month.

"$21 can be a whole meal or maybe a whole day of meals. If I budget right, I can make a whole day of meals out of $21," she said.

Shuler says she knows she can't stop the changes but she wishes she would have gotten a heads up about the cuts.

"A letter would have been fine. Just something a few months ahead of time just so we can budget with this many people in a household, you tend to budget. You know what you're buying and when you're buying before you're buying it sometimes. I'm grateful for the help we do receive and I'm not mad at anybody. I just wish there was more notification," Shuler concluded.

We did some checking into how many people are served by SNAP in our area.

In Kentucky - more than 879,000 people are on food stamps.

In Jefferson County alone - there are more than 40,000 on the program.

For Indiana, the number is more than 925,000.

Based on latest state population stats, that's 14 % of Hoosiers and 20 % of Kentuckians.

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