Food Fears: Cuts to Food Stamp Program Coming Friday

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This Friday, Nov. 1, the food stamp program will be taking a $5 billion cut, affecting thousands of people in Northeast Ohio.

"I'm worried that some of the agencies will run out of food and have to turn people away," said Mary O’Shea, the director of advocacy for the Cleveland Foodbank.

O’Shea said she believes after SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) makes the major cuts over the coming year it will affect the 1.8 million Ohioans who depend on it.

"That means that every family that is on SNAP across the country will experience a decline in benefits about ten dollars per person. We've been struggling to keep up with the recession and this is going to mean more people are gonna come through the doors of the hot meals and food programs that we support," O'Shea said.

On Nov. 1,  the Recovery Act of 2009, which pumped $45.2 bill into the monthly food stamp program, is set to expire.

"I'm very scared. It scares me to death about it. I don't know what we are gonna do," said Amanda Weinmann of Cleveland.

Weinmann said she receives about $450 a month in food stamp benefits to feed her three children. She also visits a local food center to help out.

People we spoke to said once their food stamp benefits are cut they are going to have to depend on places like food pantries so their families don’t go hungry.

"They are very, very important, not to just my family- to the community as well. See, a lot of people come to the food banks that benefit from the food banks and using their food stamps."

Food stamp benefits will shrink by 5% on average. It may not seem like a lot to some but to the people who need it most, it can be overwhelming.

"The food already, the amount that we have is not a whole lot and then when they are taking it away from us-- I'm looking at possibly 20 meals a month that I'm not going to be able to feed my family with now at least," Weinmann said.

Read more on the food stamp cuts, HERE.

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