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Food Stamp Cuts Take Effect

Millions of Americans who rely on food stamps see a change in benefits.
JOPLIN, MO.--- Millions of Americans who rely on food stamps see a change in benefits. Missouri state representatives say this means big changes for a lot of residents. Millions who count on the system now have to find another way to get food on the table.

"The cutback in the amount that food stamp recipients are receiving is creating, in essence, a manner of crisis," said Gerogia Jones, Soul's Harbor Director. 

In April 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act raised food stamp benefits. The goal was to foster economic activity in response to the recession, and it increased the maximum amount allowed per client.

"They've become adapted to receiving a certain amount of this government program," said Jones.

The increase had a sunset date of October 31st, which means today, more than 47 million people across the country will start to feel the effect of the cuts.

"Now, all of a sudden it's gone and they don't know what to do. They don't know how to reuse. They don't know how to survive without it," said Jones. 

Congressman Billy Long released a statement, saying "The danger of enacting temporary policies such as this is that they quickly become the status quo, and if ended, surprised unprepared beneficiaries. We need to get back to budgeting in Washington one year at a time." 

"People are going to have to learn to go with less, and do more for themselves," said Jones. 

The average benefit per person now stands at a little over $133 a month. The cuts add up to a total of five billion dollars across the country. 

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