As of today, millions of families won’t have the same help getting food on the table. Stimulus money that boosted food stamp benefits for the past four years ran out Thursday night. Now the program has to cut on average, $36 a month for a family of four.
The cut in funding is likely to send more families to food banks like Feeding America Food Bank West Michigan, where Andrew Steiner tells WOOD Radio their resources are stretched to the limit -- and have been since the start of the recession.
"We are several years out now from the recession. Giving levels have still not reached the levels they were before 2008. We are doing the best we can but resources are still tight and we are definitely going to feel this."
Steiner says the cut to Kent County is nearly $10 million dollars in federal food support. He says the food bank needs donations -- food and money -- to help families who may face the decision of heat for the home or food.
"They have food bills, transportation bills, medical bills. When you add extra burdens, like a cut in food assistance, it puts even more pressure on these families."
Food stamps help 47 million Americans. The program lost $5 billion overnight. The Farm Bill that funds food stamps expired. Steiner doesn't expect the situation to get better any time soon. Both Democrats and Republicans have proposed more cuts. Senate Democrats want $4.5 billion and House Republicans are pushing for almost $40 billion.