The U.S. food stamp program will be cut by $5 billion this week. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) costs roughly $80 billion a year to run.
SNAP provides aid to 14% of the country’s households, which equals about 47 million people.
The government saw a dramatic increase in the number of recipients over the past couple of years due to the recession.
There’s a big automatic cut scheduled for Nov. 1, as a temporary boost from the 2009 stimulus bill expires. That change will trim about $5 billion from federal food-stamp spending over the coming year. And that’s not all: The number of Americans on food stamps could drop even further in the months ahead, as Congress and various states contemplate further changes to the program.
Congress could cut food stamps even further this week, with the House and Senate meeting about a five-year farm bill.
Another big change to the program will be the imposition of new state restrictions. If Congress doesn’t pass more cuts to the program, states have the power to restrict eligibility.
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