Food stamp reductions to hit Mississippi

November 5th, 2013

Appeared in the Magee Courier November 5, 2013

Last Friday, according to the Associated Press, more than 47 million Americans who receive food stamps saw their benefits go down.

Congress will continue negotiations on future cuts to the program.

Here in Mississippi, according to the Mississippi Economic Policy Center, that will affect 664,000 people in the state.

This is the result of a “temporary boost” to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Act expiring.

The MEPC said that for a family of three in the state, such cuts are a reduction of $29 a month. Benefits after the cut, said the MEPC, will average less than $1.40 per person per meal.

“Every $1 increase in SNAP benefits generates about $1.70 in economic activity,” said Jessica Shappley, a policy analyst with the MEPC.

Shappley said those who receive benefits include “families with children, elderly people, and people with disabilities.”

Senator John Hoeven, a Republican from North Dakota, defended the reductions while speaking on the C-SPAN program “Washington Journal.”

“We’re making reforms that really make sense,” said Hoeven, who added that people want to know “waste, fraud, and abuse” were being eliminated.

Hoeven said that creating incentives for people to seek jobs or receive job training while getting assistance was important.

The temporary benefit to the food stamp program, according to the AP, was from the 2009 economic stimulus.


The AP reports that as various factors such as food prices, inflation, and income have swelled, benefits became higher and there were “many people signing up for the first time.”

This caused the program to double in cost since 2008, the AP reports.

Along with the cuts, the MEPC said the House of Representatives passed legislation to cut another $40 billion from SNAP.

Shappley said SNAP has been “an important source of revenue for small businesses that employ thousands of Mississippians,” including local grocery stores. Statewide 3,400 small businesses received SNAP payments, according to Shappley.


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