SNAP to take cuts, "Stimulus Act" ends

SNAP to take cuts, "Stimulus Act" ends

NEW BERN - Millions of people across the country will soon see a reduction in their food assistance due to a stimulus boost ending.

In 2009, congress enacted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or "Stimulus Act." The act gave a boost to the Supplemental Nutritional Food Program that was meant to last for five years. November 1, 2013 is the end of the boost.

When Nov. 1 arrives, families will see a reduction in their food assistance depending on family size. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, families of 4 could see a reduction of $36.00 monthly. That adds up to $396 a year reduction in food assistance.

The reduction will affect 47 million Americans who are getting food assistance.

Jaime Guddo relies on food stamps to help her feed three children while she goes to work and takes online college courses. She says the idea of decreasing food assistance makes her sick.

"This is a large issue. This is a lot of people in North Carolina and now they're saying the whole country," Guddo said. "47 million people? That's not an emergency?"

The director for Craven County Department of Social Services, Kent Flowers, said it could become confusing for people on food assistance. That's because on October the 1st, some people on food assistance will actually get an increase to that assistance. The United States Department of Agriculture has issued a Cost-of-living Adjustment to food assistance programs. Those changes may or may not increase the monthly benefit households get.

Despite some people getting an increase, Flowers said the increase won't be enough to offset the decrease from the stimulus ending. So, everyone on food assistance will still see some sort of decrease.

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