Friday, Dec 13, 2013
Temporary Boost to Food Stamp Program Comes to End
FRANKLIN COUNTY -- Food banks and the people that rely on them are bracing for next month. That's when a temporary increase in the SNAP program, commonly known as food stamps, will come to end.
Since 2009, stimulus money has been giving SNAP a boost of billions of dollars. However, that funding runs out in November. More than 2 million people in Illinois will see on average about a 5 percent cut in benefits.
The drop in funding is a concern for local food banks, like the Benton-West City Ministerial Alliance. The pantry already serves nearly 900 people each month.
Pantry coordinator, Vicki Seagle, is seeing more families coming in for help these days. She says many people struggle to get by, even with the SNAP program.
The cut could make it harder for some people to find food.
"They're going to come back looking for extra help even after we've helped them," said Seagle. "Our program right now is almost impossible to feed two times a month. Once a month is our limit."
The Illinois Department of Human Services expects the average recipient will get about $11 less a month from SNAP. A family of four would see a drop of about $36 a month.
About 1 in 7 Americans now receive monthly help from SNAP.
In just the four Southern Illinois counties of Franklin, Jackson, Saline, and Williamson, more than 45,000 people used the food stamp program in September.
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