Food stamp recipients face cuts

Posted at: 10/20/2013 9:08 PM
Updated at: 10/21/2013 1:06 AM
By: Joangel Concepcion

It's less than two weeks before the federal government slashes a program that puts food on the table.

Officials say more more than 62,000 people in Monroe County are at risk.

Come November 1, the federal government is promising a reduction in the food stamp program, known as SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Right now the average benefit is around $275 a month. After November 1, some families could see a reduction of as high as $40 a month.

Many parents in our area worried they won't be able to survive.

$30 to $40 dollars may not seem like a lot of money to some, but for low income families or people who haven't been able to find jobs, every penny counts.

You may be wondering why is the federal government is cutting back now.

Since the recession in 2008, families have been receiving a boost in benefits under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

Now, that financial push is expected to expire, so the benefits recipients will begin to see are the same amount families were getting before the recession, back in the early 2000's.

 News10NBC spoke to a mother living in Rochester who is currently unable to work. She says the cuts couldn't have come at a worse time, especially since the holidays are approaching. She says the cuts are unfair, because times haven't changed and people are still struggling.

“I can't get a job because of my disability, so what am I going to do? It's like, you're about to take it away. I'm basically worried about these kids. The kids have to eat. It doesn't make any sense. Then they sent another letter talking about reductions. That's still a big chunk out of people's living. How are people going to live?” said Tanya Nelson, SNAP program recipient.

Lawmakers are also considering cutting the program by billions of dollars in the years to come.