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A boost more than four years ago to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, ran out Friday. What impact will it have on poor families in the Ozarks? KSMU’s Scott Harvey explains.
The increase to the program in 2009 came as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. But now that those additional funds have expired, the average family of three will have about $30 less to buy food each month, according to Center on Budget and Policy.
The organization also found that Missouri will lose $96 million from the cuts. That’s a big blow to the 15 percent of state residents on food stamps, especially children, says Andrea Vent, executive director of Isabel’s House in Springfield.
“We see kids coming into Isabel’s House who are already struggling with nutritional issues, facing homelessness and hunger. And to see the food stamp and that food cut it will have a direct impact on what a family can provide to their children.”
Vent adds it’s just another hurdle for struggling families, as the cost of living rises and certain resources are reduced.
While the cut in funding will save the federal government an estimated $5 billion next year, studies show that it will also weaken the economy. Every dollar of SNAP benefits are said to generate at least about $1.70 in economic activity.