By: Matt Horn
October 28, 2013
Negotiations on Capitol Hill are about to have a drastic impact on millions of Florida’s neediest starting Friday.
“It’s a nationwide thing,” said Rich English. “It’s going to impact every state in this country.”
3.6 million of Florida’s hungriest are about to see the amount of money they receive for the SNAP program, also known as food stamps, to decrease. Up to 39 billion dollars in cuts are possible for the program… funds from the stimulus package set to expire on Halloween. Anticipation is leaving food banks with already spotty shelves searching for more food and money to feed the neediest.
“As the community responds with the higher need our food banks do a really good job on meeting those needs,” said Zach McGee.
“Once the money runs out, they’re going to turn to the soup kitchens and pantries which we provide food for,” said English.
The Department of Children and Family Services says they have been preparing for the budget reduction.
“As example: a family of four will see a 36 dollar reduction per month,” said Alexis Lambert. “A family of four with no income currently receives about 670 dollars.”
Six of Florida’s metropolitan areas are in the top 25 for food hardships nationwide.
“It’s about one-in-four people. We hope to see that reduced. We’ve seen slight reductions in it as we’ve seen the economy continue to recover,” said McGee.
The Senate and House are set to discuss the cuts Wednesday.
The Sunshine State also had the second-highest increase in food stamp usage nationwide from 2011 to 2012 – with a 9.7 percent increase.