BRISTOL, Va. - People using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program formerly known as food stamps will be receiving less money.
Going to the grocery store to buy food may be a little more difficult for people relying on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program because on November first benefits will be reduced nationwide, "You literally have to budget out and I learned to stretch the food so to speak to last the entire month but after a while you cannot make it last that long," says Francisca Turner who uses the "SNAP" program.
Turner is one of many people who rely on the "SNAP" program to buy essential groceries, and she tells us she does what she can to make the food last all month, "You get a pack of chicken for around $11 $12 and I slice it thin to make it last and freeze it individually," adds Turner.
Turner has a family of 3 and she will be losing $29 when the cuts go into effect something she says worries her, "With the amount of income they are giving us now it is impossible it is absolutely impossible," says Turner.
The cuts come because funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act also known as the Stimulus Package are no longer available. For a household of two with no income they will receive $20 less, 4 will receive $36 less, 5 will receive $43 less. The charity "Faith in Action" is already hearing from worried clients, "They are either going to have to go without or reallocate funds from rent or electricity or something," says Tyler Franklin the executive director of Faith in Action.
A reduction in "SNAP" benefits mean people will have to spend more of their own money on things like toilet paper, diapers, or even necessities like soap or toothpaste, "It's just simply inadequate because so much more has to be purchased out of pocket that snap benefits don't cover," adds Franklin.
Turner tells us she hopes the program gets the funding back, "There are plenty of other things to worry about food shouldn't be one of them," says Turner.
Officials encourage people to report any fraud with the "SNAP" program so people are not taking from those who truly need it.
The changes go into effect November 1st.