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SNAP Benefits Under Fire in Congress

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HATFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – Today, 47 million Americans receive nutritional supplementation through the SNAP program, but that supplementation is about to whither away.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 is coming to an end.

On November 1st, families receiving benefits will loose a portion of those benefits – benefits that usually don’t even get through the month.

Now, the House has passed a bill that has the potential to reduce these benefits by billions more nationally.

Christina Maxwell, Director of Programs at The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts says, “Families are often able to get their food stamps to get them through about 2 and a half weeks of the month, and then they rely on food pantries for the rest of the month.”

The average family in Massachusetts receives $235 per month in benefits.

Here in Western Mass, 166,000 families receive those benefits.

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is a resource for many of these families, allowing them to supplement the benefits they receive and help them stretch their food budget.

In regards to the end of the ARRA of 2009, Maxwell adds, “those cuts will be severe but not catastrophic for most families.”

While the cuts coming on November first would impact every family receiving snap benefits, they don’t even compare to those that would result from the bill that the House of Representatives just passed.

The bill would cut $3.9 billion per year from the SNAP program, and those cuts would continue for 10 years.

“That will be devastating. that is an enormous cut that will take millions of people off the snap rules and will drastically reduce the benefits that the families get that do stay on the snap rules,” explained Christina.

Now the bill will head to congress where it’s fate will be decided, along with the fates of many families on SNAP.

Meanwhile President Obama is looking to extent the ARRA of 2009 for these benefits until March of 2014

WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.

  • tiredofthemedia

    Oh cry me a river. Boo hoo. Hey a holes you know how much money I get a month for food? Let me see, oh yea nothing. I really agree some people really need it. But the a holes buying steak for their dog can kiss my A you know what. In the wild the ones that can’t feed themselves die. Not humans oh no we just save everyone and give the weak more and more. GET A JOB

  • work4aliving

    AGREED! Oh, no…they may have to work jobs that were once “beneath them!” But hey, if the democratic A holes that run this state (between campaigning around the rest of the country) want to rob from the middle class to feed the poor (because four years isn’t quite long enough to find a job that pays even close to the “benefits” received, I’d probably latch onto that teet as long as I could, too). Nothing beats having EBT (Expected Benefits Train) waiting for you as you arrive in the state and country to take to you for a ride around the Land “Mass” of the Free (everything)…enjoy it while it lasts!

  • boo72

    Blah blah blah !!! I’m pretty sure that it’s help people who needed to get back on their feet ., like me..,,, thankfully I have a JOB NOW!!! Don’t act like u never gonna need help from the government today u mite b doing good but u don’t know about tomm.. Life is full of surprises .,,

  • tiredofthemedia

    if someone needs assistance that is fine. It is no longer assistance when tax payers float the whole boat. Assiting would be me helping you. not you sitting on your useless Azz with your hand out. and all you do is complain about it As far as nutrition goes. I have seen more than my fair share of scum buying every piece of junk food you can think of. I’m no scientist or doctor but I think you can live without Gatorade, pop tarts, chips, soda and every other terrible crap you can eat. We’ve went above and beyond assisting. We’ve made a living out of this.

  • Yeah-I-said-it…..

    Since we don’t care to fund our own citizens in the Homeland, let our government ship it elsewhere. The following is from an article on today’s UN summit:

    “Obama announced that the United States would provide $339 million in additional humanitarian aid to refugees and countries affected by the Syrian civil war, bringing the total U.S. aid devoted to that crisis to nearly $1.4 billion.”

    Makes my stomach turn just thinking about, how many American CHILDREN who really need the help will starve because if this.