Cuts coming to food stamps as federal stimulus ends

PHOENIX - One in five Arizonans could find it harder to get enough food to eat as early as next week.

Cuts are coming to SNAP benefits, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Friday.

SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps, help pay the grocery bill for more than a million Arizonans.

But at the end of October, a family of four will lose $36 a month as federal stimulus dollars for the program expire.

And more cuts could be on the way.

In the next decade, SNAP benefits could be cut by $40 billion if a new bill that already passed the U.S. House becomes law.

For people like Tina Fullwood, losing those kinds of dollars will hurt. She's the sole provider for four grandchildren, and depends on food stamps and the food bank for groceries.

"I do what I can during the day, and by the time they come home they don't even know that I've been stressing. They just have a plate on the table," she said laughing.

She spends a lot of time volunteering at St. Mary's Food Bank in Phoenix. The struggles she hears about there are a lot like her own.

"Oh my God the stories I hear just break your heart. I go home some days overwhelmed, because everyone's out there struggling," she said.

You can read about the changes on the SNAP website.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a comprehensive chart that breaks down the cuts by family size. For example, it lists a household of one will lose $11 a month, while a household of three will lose $29 a month.

You can also visit Arizona Self Help to see what other assistance you might qualify for.


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