$5B food stamp cut hits Friday


One-year-old Jaeliece Ortiz enjoys juice her mother bought with her SNAP card in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images.

Poor families across the country will have a harder time stretching their food budgets after Friday, as stimulus funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) automatically expires. The 13.6 percent boost in SNAP benefits the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act instituted in April 2009 ends Nov. 1.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that the cuts translate into $29 per month less for an average family of three. They will be left with $319 per year or $1.40 per person per meal, based on cost estimates from the Department of Agriculture’s “Thrifty Food Plan.”

Since the funding increase came from federal dollars, every SNAP recipient will experience reduced benefits. (See GovBeat’s maps of SNAP cuts by state and SNAP participation by state and congressional district).

Ending the additional funding will save the government $5 billion in 2014, says CBPP.

There’s concern, though, that these cuts will affect more than just the 48 million SNAP recipients. CBPP has found that every $5 of food stamps generates up to $9 of economic activity.

The 41 members of the Senate and House Farm Bill conference committee meet Wednesday to discuss future cuts to SNAP. WonkBlog rounds up the various situations that could reduce benefits further.

H/T Simone Pathe