Food stamp cuts to impact thousands of people in Wichita

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WICHITA, Kansas – Thousands of Kansas families who receive food stamp benefits, known as SNAP will soon see cuts.

A temporary benefit increase went into effect back in 2009 to help during the recession, but that extra assistance is set to expire November 1st.

A household of 4 will see a cut of $36 per month meaning the family would lose about five full meals.

“We are about at our max,” said Pastor Jackie Carter, First Metropolitan Community Church.

Pastor Carter is anticipating more families to come through her food pantry.

“What we’ve seen in the past when benefits have been changed or people have been getting benefits now can not get benefits,” said Carter. “There’s an increase in participation in food pantry.

Households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will see a reduction in their benefits starting November 1st.

The government plans to cut $5 billion across the country and in Kansas that’s a cut of $33 million.

The cuts will affect more than 100,000 people in Wichita forcing them to seek other options like going to the pantry for additional help.

“I don’t know how we’ll do it,” said Carter. “We’ll just do the best that we can and attempt to serve as many people as possible.”

Carter points out there’s a growing need to help struggling families with this economy.

Her pantry serves more than 900 families every week, many who already have full time jobs.

“They can not feed their families even though they work,” said Carter. “They do whatever they can to save and scrimp to get by and they still do not have enough.”

The reduction goes into effect November 1st and will end on September 2014.

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