Food stamp program to shrink by 5 billion dollars

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Over the next year the federal food stamp program will shrink by 5 billion dollars.

Yesterday, a stimulus bill which temporarily boosted benefits to households receiving food stamps expired.

As a result the average family of four will see their food stamps cut by 36-dollars a month.

A woman, who calls herself Ann, used her food stamps to shop at Findlay Market Saturday and she says she's worried about the cutbacks.

"The last week and a half of the month is already a struggle. You got to feed the kids when they come home from school, you got to feed them breakfast and then you got to provide a dinner for them, you want to feed them healthy so to cut back the food stamps is going to make that even harder," said Ann.

Ann says she worries the food stamp cutbacks may lead to a backlash. "I think there's going to be a lot of killing, a lot of stealing, a lot of mugging, a lot of robbing. It's only going to make crime worse."

Ivan Jackson says health problems have prevented him from getting permanent employment and says he depends on food stamps. "I think it's a shame that the government is trying to balance the budget on the backs of poor people."

The cutbacks may also affect Findlay Market Vendors many of whom accept food stamps.

Hannah Luken, who manages Luken's Poultry worries about the impact on her bottom line. "Especially this time of the month we have a big percentage is the food stamps and year round we do a lot of business with that especially around the holidays."

Debbie Gannaway of Grandma Debbie's Kitchen says "It's a small percentage of my business, but it's a nice chunk the first week or two of the month and it's going to make a difference."

Tony Young of Daisy Mae's Market says "It's going to affect people more because they're going to be looking at what they spend I think. They're going to be more conscious of what they're spending, but I mean the thing is most people spend it all out before the end of the month anyway and our last two weeks of the month are usually pretty slow."

Joey Hollstegge of Bender Meats says "We were really busy today, so far we're not doing too bad, but I think towards the end of the month we'll see a real big hit when the majority of people are out of their food stamps."

The food stamp cuts will affect 47 million people across the nation and in Ohio the federal government will save 193-million dollars, but that's 193-million dollars less flowing into the state's economy.

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