Cuts to food stamps for over 3.5 million Floridians went into effect Friday, Nov. 1. And more could be coming through the pipeline soon.
Increases in food stamps, which are part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), were approved as part of the 2009 Recovery Act’s temporary boost to the economy. And those increases have run out.
For a family of four, the cuts translate to $36 per month or a total loss of $396 per year. Cuts to benefits in Florida are the third largest.
Florida's food programs are bracing for cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that kick in Nov. 1 --- while watching warily as U.S. House and Senate conferees prepare to negotiate a federal farm bill, which could have much more far-reaching consequences for hungry Floridians.
Gloria Lewis' meals are distributed to a line of hungry people in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Credit Gloria Lewis
Free meals for the homeless are unloaded from the trunk of Gloria Lewis' car. The waitress from Fort Lauderdale has been cooking over 100 meals a week, not enough for the people who line up to get them in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Credit Gloria Lewis
Gloria Lewis (left) helps organize meals in downtown Broward. Lewis, a waitress from Fort Lauderdale, cooks over 100 meals a week to serve to the homeless.
The first page of a letter Gloria Lewis sent to House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R- VA) asking for help.
Florida is among the top 10 states with the largest share of its population relying on food stamps. Nearly 20 percent of the state requires assistance. However, with federal cuts to the program likely, many could find it even more difficult in South Florida, where the cost of food is above the national average.
Just over a year ago, Miranda Childe was an assistant professor in English at Miami-Dade College. But due in part to funding cuts at state colleges, she suddenly found herself out of work.
Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 3:34 pm
The Republican-controlled House's vote to cut $40 billion from the food stamp program is just the latest example of how the GOP balance of power has shifted rightward over the past decade.
President George W. Bush isn't fondly remembered by progressives for much. But anti-hunger advocates credited him during his administration for strongly supporting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (the formal name for food stamps) and other policies to help unemployed or low-income workers and their children escape the fear of not knowing where their next meals would come from.