The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP and formerly known as food stamps, will have its benefits reduced for every household across the nation for the first time in the program’s history Nov. 1.
The Missouri Department of Social Services reports the cuts “may vary based on household circumstance” but will generally range from a drop of $11 for single-person households, to a drop of $36 in four-person households.
Senior Policy Analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Ed Bolen said the current benefits received a boost in 2009 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The boost was supposed to gradually decrease as inflation rose, but congressional action has decreased the time frame for reducing benefits.
“Congress decided to shorten that a little bit in a couple of different legislative bills," Bolen said. "So we find ourselves hitting a little bit of a cliff where the benefit boost that households got from the Recovery Act dollars will abruptly end rather than completely phase out.”
Executive Director for the Missouri Association for Social Welfare Jeanette Mott Oxford said this cut will make the difficult hunger situation in Missouri even harder.
“The average benefit in Missouri has been about $1.40 per person per meal, and this cut will take that down to around $1.30 per person per meal,” Mott Oxford said.
Mott Oxford recommends community members donate to local food banks, which will be a main source of food to supplement households facing the cuts.