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Food stamp cuts affect thousands in Kentucky

By: Michelle Heron Email
By: Michelle Heron Email

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, helps millions of Americans put food on the table.

A study by the U.S. Census Bureau and the USDA found 20% of Kentucky’s population relies on the food stamp program to make ends meet.

“We’ve seen cuts in all sorts of places. We’ve seen losses in jobs, we’ve seen people who have jobs but are being paid less than they used to,” Director of Community Programs at Community Ministries Jennifer Weeber said.

Donald King is one of those people, but recently found out about the cut in his SNAP benefits. Now, he relies on food boxes and meals from Corner Haven in Hazard.

“You’re lucky if you make it. You know, if it wasn’t for being able to come over here and get a good tray,” King added.

The automatic cuts come after the temporary boost from the 2009 stimulus bill expired. The change will trim about $5 billion from federal food stamp spending over the next year.

For example, the average family of four receiving the maximum SNAP benefits will see a $36 reduction in funds starting this month.

Cuts that Weeber says may seem small, but will hit hard in the mountains.

“More folks are coming to us who have good work histories, who are earning money but just can’t make ends meet,” Weeber added.

Leaving people wondering how they’re going to survive.

For more information about the cuts, click on the website below.

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