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SNAP recipients will see decreased benefits on November 1st

By Brian Allen on September 18, 2013

On November 1st, the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will lose $5 billion in federal funds.

That program provides access to food stamps for millions of Americans.

Everyone currently enrolled in SNAP will lose some amount of money from their account.

But what happens on November 1st could be just the beginning of the program's problems.

In South Dakota every month, a total of 2,500 families visit food pantries in Rapid City and Sioux Falls.

And those pantries are struggling as it is.

And with new cuts coming for the SNAP program, the number of people needing help is going to grow.

"We're going to have more people needing that assistance more often and we're struggling to meet the current need." Matt Gassen with Feeding South Dakota tells us his concern about the number of people needing help is well founded, because these cuts will be across the aboard, affecting every SNAP recipient. "We know that there's gonna be some individuals that are gonna lose benefits...we know that some individuals are gonna have reduced amounts of benefits given to them each month."

And it could get worse: a version of the Farm Bill being debated in the U-S House right now would cut another $4 billion from the SNAP program...all in an effort to bring the federal budget in line. "The big concern is that we have enough hunger already. And these cuts just create more hunger." Cathy Brechtelsbauer is with the advocacy group Bread For The World and fears SNAP looks like an easy target for lawmakers..but she says Washington needs to remember these cuts affect a wide array of people. "No matter how young, how old, disabled...or physically or mentally...or whether they're able to hold a job."

And keep this in mind: new numbers released just this week show a little more than one out of every 10 South Dakota residents lives below the poverty line.

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