900K receiving food assistance to see cut in benefitsNearly 900,000 Wisconsinites receiving food stamps will have their benefits cut in November as part of a federal stimulus package expires.
By: Rich Kremer, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Nearly 900,000 Wisconsinites receiving food stamps will have their benefits cut in November as part of a federal stimulus package expires.
The 2009 Federal Stimulus Bill included a temporary boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly known as “food stamps.” That boost is set to expire Oct. 31, however, meaning around 861,000 Wisconsinites will see their benefits cut. For a family of four, that works out to a $36 cut per month. Sherrie Tussler is the executive director of the Hunger Task Force in Milwaukee. “[Thirty-six dollars] may not seem like a whole lot to people who have the means to go out and purchase whatever they would like to at the grocery store, but there are a lot of people who are literally planning for what they can buy, how much they can afford, the size of their meals.”
She says this cut is a big deal. “When you start taking money away from people who are already living a very modest lifestyle, what you’re talking about doing is increasing hunger.”
Tamarine Cornelius is a research analyst for the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families. She says 40 percent of those affected by this cut in the state will be kids. “The people who are going to be bearing a lot of the brunt of this change are children. One out of three children in Wisconsin benefit from food stamps, and those families are going to have a harder time putting food on the table.”
Conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation argue the food stamp program should be reformed to encourage work and self-sufficiency and that funding should be restored to pre-recession levels.