Press ReleaseFrom North Carolina News Service:
Raleigh, NC - It's been one week since 47 million Americans and 1.7 million North Carolina residents who rely on food stamps - now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) - saw their benefit amounts decrease.
One-point-seven million North Carolinians who rely on food stamps are learning to do more with less. This month's cuts to the program now known as "SNAP," the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, will affect 47 million families nationwide. For the remainder of this fiscal year alone, the reductions mean losses for North Carolina of 166-million dollars in federal SNAP benefits. Alexandra Sirota with the N-C Budget and Tax Center says that will impact everyone.
"That has a ripple effect through the economy as families can't go out and spend in their local shops and grocery stores. Those stores will see a decline in their goods."
Of those affected by the cuts in North Carolina, 758-thousand are children, and almost 300-thousand are older adults with disabilities.
Sirota says with North Carolina having one of the highest levels of food insecurity in the country, the cuts to SNAP impact an already vulnerable population.
"This is a very real issue in North Carolina. We know that families are really struggling and that SNAP provides that kind of support to those families while the economy is bad."
SNAP benefits had been boosted in 2009 by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to strengthen the economy and ease the burden on families impacted by the Great Recession. Sirota and others assert that Congress should have extended the benefits.