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Food Stamp Cuts Coming This Fall for MD Families

GRAPHIC: Every Marylander who receives SNAP benefits will see a cut starting November first.
GRAPHIC: Every Marylander who receives SNAP benefits will see a cut starting November first.
August 9, 2013

BALTIMORE – There will be less money for food this fall for the 774,000 Maryland families that get help from the government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.

A 2009 Recovery Act boost to the program expires Nov. 1, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities projects a family of four will get about $36 less each month for food.

At the same time, new research by the Economic Policy Institute reveals SNAP has helped lift 2.2 million children out of poverty in the U.S.

Molly McCloskey, director of Share Our Strength's Maryland No Kid Hungry Campaign, says those cuts, plus a proposal in the House to slash SNAP funding by $40 billion, are especially worrisome.

"I have to tell you it's a bit frightening at this time when we're looking at potential SNAP funding cuts in Congress to contrast that with the data of this report," she says.

Members of Congress are back in their home districts this month, and could take up the SNAP cuts as part of the Farm Bill in September.

McCloskey hopes Marylanders will let their lawmakers know how important the food assistance is, not only for hundreds of thousands of families, but also for businesses in the community where they buy food.

She says the news could, and should, be a game-changer in congressional debates about the future of food assistance programs.

"It should be appealing in a bi-partisan way,” she adds, “because when families move out of poverty we all progress as a nation."

Alison Burns, Public News Service - MD