Food Stamp Cuts Hitting Thousands Of Alabamians
Forty seven million people across the country will have their food stamps reduced each month, starting tomorrow.
That includes almost one million people in Alabama.
This extra food stamp money came in 2009 with the economic stimulus package. But the time and money has run out and people are going to start feeling it tomorrow.
George Drain has been on the food stamp program for a few years and only has to support himself, but it's still going to change things for him.
"I know I'm going to have to cry a river of tears, but I really don't worry about it affecting me because I'm living in the strongest and richest country in the world," said Drain.
He's is one of almost one million Alabamians that will be losing a total of $98 million in food stamps.Most families will see a loss of about $400 each year. The stimulus was added to try and help end the recession, but for many it's still going on.
"The idea was that we could create an economic stimulus by boosting food stamps. For every dollar we boosted food stamps, a dollar seventy rippled through the economy. The end of it means that families are going to see a cut in the number of meals they can buy," said Kimble Forrister with Alabama Arise.
The US Department of Agriculture estimates a family of three will lose about 21 meals a month. Drain says he still isn't sure just how big of an impact this will have on him, since he hasn't been notified of the changes yet.
"Not yet. I guess they don't want to frighten me or bring this excruciating dilemma that they think it is to a simple human being," said Drain.
The US Congress is still debating possible changes to the food stamp program. Some of these changes would reinstate the benefits, but make it harder to qualify for the program.