Kids to Skip Meals After Food Stamp Cuts

A map published by Stateline highlights the impact of $5 billion in food stamp cuts across the country.

Photo Credit: Zurijeta/ Shutterstock

On November 1, the U.S. fell off the “food stamp cliff.” Food stamp benefits were cut by $5 billion on that day, which marked the end of a funding increase that was part of the 2009 stimulus package.  

A new interactive food stamp map published by Stateline and featured on NPR highlights this problem starkly by looking at how each state will be hit by the cuts.  

Oregon is one state that will be hit hard.  One out of every five Oregon residents relies on food stamps, and now that large population has to cope with food stamp cuts.  That could mean, in practical terms, buying less milk or having one less meal during the day. In total, 304,000 children and 159,000 senior citizens will see their benefits cut.

Other states will also be hit hard.  The benefit decrease will greatly impact Mississippi, for instance.  22% of the state’s population rely on food stamps every day.  But the “food stamp cliff” means that $70 million dollars for the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP_--the technical name for food stamps--will be cut.  That will impact an estimated 307,000 children, and 119,000 elderly or disabled people, according to the Stateline map.

As NPR points out, it is red states like Mississippi that that are most reliant on SNAP. 20 percent of the population in GOP strongholds like Georgia and Louisiana use the SNAP program.  But it was the Republican Party which lead the way towards cutting food stamp benefits. 

Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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