NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - Federal law is requiring a decrease in food stamp money, starting Nov. 1.
The federal government provided extra money to the program back in 2009 as a part of a stimulus package when the economy was battling a recession. The government committed to increasing the funding of this government program for five years. With the economy more stable, and the time commitment met, the government is pulling out that additional increased funding.
As a result, people will see a 5.4 percent decrease in their food stamp stipends.
"I don't think it's right," said Kristen Simpson of Craven County. She's a mother of one, pregnant and a food stamp recipient. "After bills, sometimes I have only ten dollars left." Simpson doesn't agree with the federal cut.
Herschel Vick of Craven County showed up at the Craven County Department of Social Services office to re-apply for his food stamps on Thursday. He was surprised to find out he'll be receiving even less. He recognizes the importance of the food stamp program for families who barely have enough to get by.
"With these food stamps we are able to go out here and get a gallon of milk, a box of corn flakes, things that are necessary for children to have on their way to school, before they get to school and when they get out of school. They got to eat, they got to have something for dinner."
Although local Department of Social Services offices can do nothing to impact the federal food stamps cuts, NewsChannel12 reached out to the Craven County Department of Social Services on tips for how people can prepare for the decrease.
Kent Flowers, Jr., the director, suggested people call the number on the back of their food stamps card to find out their balance at the start of the month. Flowers also said as you swipe your food stamp card, check the receipts because your remaining balance will be on it.