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WASTE WATCH: Food Stamp program

Updated: Monday, October 28 2013, 07:39 PM CDT
At least one in four Floridians face food shortages every day.
That number may go up as Food Stamp cuts kick in later this week.
Negotiations on capitol hill are about to have a drastic impact on millions of Florida's neediest starting Friday.
 
Rich English/Second Harvest of the Big Bend: "It's a nationwide thing. 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.
 
Zach McGee/Florida Assoc. of Food Banks: "As the community responds with the higher need our food banks do a really good job on meeting those needs. Can't make up the gap, but we'll try our best."
 
Just to break this down - right now people on food stamps have a little less than five dollars to spend on food daily. With the cuts to the SNAP program - it'll decrease…while the demand for food banks will increase.
 
Rich English/Second Harvest of the Big Bend:  "Once the money runs out, they're going to turn to the soup kitchens and pantries which we provide food for."
 
The Department of Children and Family Services says they have been preparing for the budget reduction.
 
Alexis Lambert/Dept. Of Children and Families: "As example: A family of four will see a 36-dollar reduction per month. 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.
 Zach McGee/Florida Assoc. Of Food Banks: "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."
 
The senate and house are set to discuss the cuts Wednesday.  
Florida also had the second-highest increase in food stamp usage nationwide from 2011 to 2012 - with a 9.7 % increase.

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WASTE WATCH: Food Stamp program


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