Oh it’s about to get real ugly out in these streets. Next month food stamp benefits will automatically shrink for all 47 million Americans enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.


Pamela Gwynn of Crawfordsville, Ind., heard about the cut in a letter from the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. The letter explained that a federal law called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly known as the “stimulus package,” had given food stamp recipients a temporary boost in 2009.

Come this Friday, 5 billion in federal food aid will be lost. According to the Margarette Purvis, the president and CEO of the Food Bank for New York City, the cuts will have an impact on area food banks. 76 million meals “will no longer be on the plates of the poorest families.”

The decrease is automatic and completely separate from an ongoing debate in Congress over how much SNAP spending should be cut starting next year. Republicans in the House of Representatives want to cut the program by 5 percent, which would result in 3.8 million fewer Americans receiving benefits in 2014. But Senate Democrats are unlikely to go along; if the two chambers can’t compromise, benefits will probably continue with no additional cuts.

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