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Connecticut Residents Facing More Hunger

April 3, 2012

EAST HAVEN, Conn. - Anti-hunger activists warned at a news conference Monday at the Connecticut Food Bank in East Haven that hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents are already struggling to get enough to eat, and things could get worse. The House budget just passed in Congress includes a 17 percent cut - or $133 billion - in the food stamp program, now called SNAP.

Nancy Carrington, president and CEO of the Food Bank, says things are stretching close to the breaking point.

"If significant cuts are made to SNAP and other federal food assistance programs, we won't be able to 'food bank' our way out of the resulting crisis."

That's because as more families lose access to food stamps, they would depend on the hundreds of feeding programs around the state supplied by the Food Bank.

Susan Vass is a Branford mother of three who has been unemployed for a year.

"When I receive my unemployment and pay my mortgage, I have $200 left a month to pay for gas, for heat and for everything else, and I'm not eligible for food stamps. If it wasn't for the Food Bank, we wouldn't have our meals."

In Connecticut, 400,000 food-stamp recipients are in danger of losing benefits.

The U.S. Senate is unlikely to pass the House budget without changes.

Republicans say tough choices must be made to balance the budget, although the budget they passed in the House gives millions in tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans.

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT