1.8 million Ohioans will see reductions in food aid

- August 2, 2013
   

Expiration of modest boost means just $1.40 per person per meal in aid.

All of the nearly 47 million Americans, including 22 million children, who receive SNAP food assistance will see their food aid reduced, when a modest boost in benefits that policymakers included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expires on October 31.

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The 16 percent of Ohio’s population still struggling in the slow economic recovery face a cut in food assistance benefits this fall, according to new data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The data is analyzed in a new report from the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, released locally by Policy Matters Ohio.

All of the nearly 47 million Americans, including 22 million children, who receive SNAP food assistance will see their food aid reduced, when a modest boost in benefits that policymakers included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expires on October 31. For a family of three, that cut will likely mean a reduction of $29 a month—$319 for the remaining 11 months of the fiscal year. This is a serious loss for families whose benefits, after this cut, will average only about $1.40 per person per meal.

“This small increase in food assistance has helped millions of struggling Ohio families stay afloat during a terrible economic crisis,” said Wendy Patton, Senior Project Director for Policy Matters. “This aid was essential to those struggling to find work or working at jobs that don’t pay enough to put food on the table.”

In addition to helping feed hungry families, food assistance is one of the fastest, most effective ways to stimulate a struggling economy. Every $1 increase in food aid generates about $1.70 in economic activity. The across-the-board cuts scheduled for November will reduce the program by $5 billion in fiscal year 2014 alone.

On top of the across-the-board cuts, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday announced a plan to cut $40 billion more from food aid.

“SNAP is a powerful tool to keep families from going hungry in Ohio,” said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. “Ohio’s foodbanks and hunger charities cannot respond to increasing hunger on their own. SNAP takes Ohioans out of our food pantry lines and puts them into grocery store checkout lines. It provides supplemental food to the most vulnerable among us. Now is not the time to further reduce this already modest assistance to struggling families.”

 

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