SNAP Benefits Being Cut Friday

(Memphis) People who use the SNAP program are bracing for some pretty big changes coming to the program stating Friday.

One local group says if families don’t know about those changes it could have negative impacts on nutrition.

“Being able to carry the full weight of everybody in the community has been a pull on the government and the economy,” said Coasy Hale with Urban Strategies Memphis Hope.

Urban Strategies claims the average family on assistance will see a $38 decrease in benefits a month.

Hale says this change is happening because in 2009 payments went us as part of the economic stimulus package.

Now the temporary increase is running out.

Since people got use to the increase Urban Strategies is hosting workshops to help recipients figure out how to survive on less.

“We’re giving them some tips on how they can stretch the dollar. Shopping tips, giving them some tools on creating grocery lists, and foods they can still buy and still be within the budget,” said Hale.

Urban Strategies is also working with food pantries and churches around town to make sure families have someplace to go if the cutback leaves them short.

“Lot of folks depend on their food stamps,” said Doris Holcomb.

One in seven Americans use SNAP assistance, so it’s no surprise Holcomb knows several people in the program.

She use to use food stamps herself, and thinks the government should think twice about the cutback.

“It’s going to be a big loss because a lot of people don’t have anything but food stamps coming in now,” said Holcomb.

Forty-seven million Americans are on assistance and will be impacted by the reduction, and the Department of Agriculture says people who qualify spend 30 percent or more of their income on food.

If you would like to learn more about Urban Strategies, give them a call at (901) 544-1341.

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