Food stamps cut, now what? - News, Weather & Sports

Food stamps cut, now what?

Dr. Louis Heuser Dr. Louis Heuser

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Millions of families are finding it harder to put food on the table. As of November 1, $5 billion in stimulus money that was flowing into the food stamp program has run out.


The benefit amounts dropped because Congress did not vote to extend stimulus funding. When stimulus funding came to Kentucky in 2009, it boosted benefits more than 13 percent for every participating household.


The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services released this statement:


"The Nov. 1 expiration of federal stimulus funds will affect every recipient of the Kentucky Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Kentucky averages about 867,000 recipients a month. Since Congress did not vote to extend the stimulus funding that began in 2009, each household will see about a 5.5 percent average decrease in benefits."


The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or SNAP serves 47 million Americans. According to the SNAP website, the program provides, on average, $134 per person per month. When that amount is divided over a 30-day month, the average SNAP recipient would have a food budget of $4.46 per day. With the cuts, a family of four may lose $36 per month in benefits.


Dr. Louis Heuser, a nutritionist with Heuser Health, took me around the ValuMarket Grocery Store in the Highlands to see just how to maximize meals on a fixed food stamp budget.


"If you only have $4 per day to eat on you're going to have to be really disciplined," said Heuser.


According to Heuser, it is possible to eat healthy on a fixed income. The main goal, he said, is to plan your meals and mind your plan. Making a shopping list, buying in bulk, and targeting sale items will help trim the grocery bill.


Heuser also said buying frozen versus fresh vegetables, and choosing vegetables over processed foods, will also help to cut cost.


The table below from the USDA shows the decrease in SNAP benefits in November by household size.


Household Size Difference

1 - $11

2 - $20

3 - $29

4 - $36

5 - $43

6 - $52

7 - $57

8 - $65

Each additional person -$8


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