From a letter received from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
By Stacy Dean and Dottie Rosenbaum[1]
The 2009 Recovery Act’s temporary boost to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits is scheduled to end on November 1, 2013, resulting in a benefit cut for every SNAP household. For families of three, the cut likely will be $20 to $25 a month — $240 to $300 a year. That’s a serious loss, especially in light of the very low amount of basic SNAP benefits. Without the Recovery Act’s boost, SNAP benefits average only about $1.30 per person per meal. These cuts will likely cause hardship for some SNAP participants, who include 22 million chil-dren (10 million of whom live in “deep poverty,” with family incomes below half of the poverty line) and 9 million people who are elderly or have a serious disability. Cutting these house-holds’ benefits will reduce their ability to purchase food. This cut will be the equivalent of tak-ing away 14 meals per month for a family of four, or 11 meals for a family of three, based on cal-culations using the $1.70 to $2 per meal provided for in the Food Plan. USDA research has found that the Recovery Act’s benefit boost cut the number of households in which one or more persons had to skip meals or otherwise eat less because they lacked money — what USDA calls “very low food security” — by about 500,000 households in 2009.[10] The upcoming cuts to SNAP benefits will be significant and will have far reaching impacts on low-income individuals and families. They will likely increase hardship for the 47 million Americans who rely upon SNAP to meet their basic nutritional needs. If Congress does not act soon to mitigate the cuts, states will need to begin planning for the reduction to ensure that cli-ents and the many organizations and SNAP stakeholders who work with them are aware of the upcoming change and its effects

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