Reductions in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, will hit 117,000 recipients in New Hampshire along with 47 million Americans nationwide after Oct. 31. Twenty-two million of those who rely on federal food assistance in this country are children.
The benefits, which had been expanded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) due to the poor economy, are about to expire despite the lack of economic progress for low-income families in the wake of the recession.
For a family of three, the cuts translate to $29 less per month for food – or $319 over the remaining 11 months of the fiscal year, according to new data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and included in a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. This leaves families — many of whom are working part-time or in low-wage jobs — with an average of less than $1.40 per person per meal.
In addition to helping to feed hungry families, SNAP is one of the fastest, most effective ways to stimulate a struggling economy. Every $1 increase in SNAP benefits generates about $1.70 in economic activity, according to the Center.
The across-the-board cuts scheduled for November will reduce the program by $5 billion in fiscal year 2014 alone.
For more information, check out the full report at http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3899.