Food Stamp Cuts Coming, Food Banks May Feel Impact

August 30, 2013

About 2.6 million people in Florida will have less money to spend on groceries starting this November. SNAP benefits – more commonly known as food stamps – are decreasing and will leave people with $1.40 to spend per meal.

The funding reduction comes as a result of the expiration of Recovery Act funding, and food banks are bracing for the impact. Rebecca Brislain, spokeswoman for the Florida Association of Food Banks, said the need for assistance does not end with the expiration of funding and her organizations can’t bridge that gap.

“That’s just the truth of it,” she said. “We simply can’t absorb those kinds of cuts. The people that are receiving assistance will not be able to find the kind of assistance that they’re receiving through those programs.”

Brislain says her 14 member food banks already are struggling to meet increased needs from people that came as a result of the recession. Five years ago they distributed 72 million pounds of food each year. Since then, that number has more than doubled.

Florida food banks have been distributing food at “disaster levels” in the past three years, she said, with increases of 80 percent in some parts of the state.

“It’s what we’ve been here for for years,” she said, “and now we’re finding so many more people. It’s not that little emergency anymore. It’s become a chronic problem.”

About 17 percent of Florida’s population is classified as “food insecure,” but 28 percent of children deal with food insecurity.

by Stephanie Carroll Carson, Florida News Connection


25 Responses to “Food Stamp Cuts Coming, Food Banks May Feel Impact”

  1. Starving in Florida on October 12th, 2013 8:30 am

    I always wonder why people who don’t need food stamps and or who abuse the system receive them then. In the state of Florida it can take a month or more to process your application. If you recently became unemployed it is the whim of the employer to fill out what is called a loss of income verification form. Most of the time time they won’t or don’t and you get denied. A lot of those employers know what that is and they know you will go hungry if they don’t fill it out. Waiting a month for food stamps and another 2 months for unemployment is ridiculous. It usually means loosing your place to live or not being able to keep up with vehicle requirements. Food banks are cutting back now to 1 bag a month. Can you feed yourself on a bag of groceries for a month and keep a roof over your head for 2 months waiting on unemployment?

  2. David Huie Green on September 2nd, 2013 11:45 pm

    “The problem with that idea is that the churches and charities are funded by all of US”

    Here’s another problem: Churches and charities are NOT funded by all of us. Few people are members of churches.
    Few churches try to feed the hungry or have enough total income of the members to even pretend to start.

    Most charities are not intended to feed people, they exist for other purposes.
    Most people are not involved in most charities.

    (Further, some churches and charities are scams to fleece the congregants and government, but this is true even if they weren’t — they simply couldn‘t.)

    Nobody wants people to starve, but only a few like to be abused by feeding others better than their own children. The very perception creates resentment.

    David for free unlimited basic food

  3. Just sayin' on August 31st, 2013 11:10 pm


    The problem with that idea is that the churches and charities are funded by all of US…not the government, and most of us are struggling to pay our own bills. We’re doing good to feed our own families. How do you expect us to feed the millions who would suddenly come flocking to our doors if the food stamp program were to end?

  4. M on August 31st, 2013 7:50 pm

    Here is an idea; Cut out the free cell phones they receive, and give the cost of the phones to them as food stamps. That way their kids would have something to eat, and they could get off the phone and look for a job

  5. Wilma Gibson on August 31st, 2013 3:57 pm

    There are times when hard working people, through no fault of their own, loose their job or are down on their luck. Help those people until they can get work. Have a time limit on help unless they are physically unable. A Doctor must verify. I agree so many do not know how to make food stretch. A half lb. of hamburger can make a meal if used wisely. People receiving assistance should be taught how to make wholesome meals without breaking the bank. Shop at dollar stores and Dollar Tree. Most things are cheaper there than a grocery store. Use your crock pot to cook in instead of feeding your kids at the ball park, expensive and not good for them. People in charge of these programs should teach people using assistance how to shop and use food wisely. Make sure they follow the guidelines in order to continue receiving assistance.

  6. My2Cents on August 31st, 2013 1:17 pm

    @ justsayit….I couldnt agree more! Its about time the food stamp program is revamped. Too many people take ADVANTAGE of the system, period. Instead of sitting on your behind, get out and spend time looking for employment. Their are ARC disabled individuals who pick trash up off the road for minimum wage…people on state assistance should be made to do the same if they want to receive ANY type of benefits.

  7. justsayit on August 31st, 2013 5:57 am

    Here is an idea. If you can’t afford to feed the kids you have now, do not have any more and then expect others (taxpayers) to feed them for you.

  8. sickofit on August 31st, 2013 4:59 am

    Bobby,if you can’t feed your family without help now,why create more?

  9. Bobby V. on August 31st, 2013 12:24 am

    As a father of 2 kids with a wife who is 7 months pregnant the 40$ a week we get in food stamps doesn’t go very far. Even buying cheap meats and canned veggies. I work 36 hrs a week so this is all the assistance we get. We eat okay for 2-3 weeks but there’s usually a week of me eating 2 packs of ramen a day so the kids can at least eat healthy meals during that week.

  10. JR on August 30th, 2013 9:52 pm

    This is only the beginning, things will get worse before they get better. Borrowing money we don’t have and can not pay back will eventually come crashing down.

  11. kathy on August 30th, 2013 8:54 pm

    I hate to see this happen, Because there are good people out there that can use the extra Help. I’am struggling to make ends meet and I’am a single mother fighting cancer, and can only get 200.00 in Foodstamps for me and my daughter, my income is only 800.00 a month By the time I pay my bills there’s nothing left. I don’t know what I will do if they cut foodstamps out. But The Lord will look out for me. and God Bless everyone.

  12. TAM on August 30th, 2013 5:22 pm

    As someone who worked a part time job as a bagger/cashier at Winn Dixie for two years, I can attest to the abuse of the SNAP system. Bagging up two and three overflowing shopping carts filled with t-bone steaks, chicken, pork and all the other finest meats. Snow crab legs and shrimp too. All to the tune of $400 – $500. Every time they whipped out the EBT card to pay. Sometimes they even bought LIVE lobsters with EBT cards for $40 each. Then having to help them roll it out to their Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln, Mercedes, Toyota Camry, Chevy Impala and Dodge Charger on 22 inch rims. All late model cars of course. It was very disheartening to know this was going on while I’m working two jobs to support myself and driving around in my twelve year old car with over 200k miles on the odometer. You would think the state could cross reference names of food stamp recipients with motor vehicle registration records to see who has a luxury car in their name.

  13. sickofit on August 30th, 2013 4:11 pm

    The SNAP acronym(initials)stands for SUPPLEMENTAL nutritional ASSISTANCE program…’s not the AYDTEFFP program (anything YOU DESIRE TO EAT FOEVER FOR FREE PROGRAM!!!.) it is an ASSISTANCE program so your sorry behind won’t starve,but you have to try to at least help yourself,it was not intentended to be a “lay on the couch,eat all you want program!!)

  14. MM on August 30th, 2013 11:01 am

    In my poorer days, I would make this:
    – 1 bag of split green peas ($.50)
    – 1 bag of rice ($.80)
    – 1 gallon of water (~$0.00)
    Put in crock pot for a few hours – dinner is served, all week!

    My parents grew up in war-torn Europe. They worked all day for a pound of butter. It’s amazing how productive and creative people can be when really threatened with starvation. As the article points out, food banks were created for emergency situations, but have become a permanent, chronic solution.

  15. John on August 30th, 2013 9:28 am

    To Cantonment mom: Single mom with four children where are the dads? If they are not in the picture then why? I thank you for at least working to help cover the cost. It’s the ones that get assistance and do nothing . If you are able to work and get any type of assistance you could cut grass and pick up trash on the side of the road to earn you assistance. If you have children that steal from schools you should not get assistance until you can teach your children that is wrong.

  16. JimD on August 30th, 2013 9:27 am

    Here is another Obama stimulus initiative “American Recovery Act of 2009”, running out of money. Leadership does not mean promising the world and always giving people what they want/need to keep your popularity up. Leadership should start from the top, and as we haven’t had any leadership in the US Government since January 2009; effects are now being felt. You cannot keep promising to handout money continuously without a shortfall somewhere. Refilling for SNAP and other public assistance should be reviewed, overhauled and something else put in its place. Public assistance is just that assistance, not a lifestyle.

  17. Just sayin' on August 30th, 2013 9:21 am

    There are plenty of good ideas out there about how to cut the waste. I think one of the biggest improvements would be to TEACH these people how to cook “the cheap way”, lol. By this, I mean for us to teach people how to cook a regular home cooked meal instead of boxes of this, cans of that, frozen meals, pizzas, snacks, etc. I’m amazed at how many people don’t know how to cook!! Buy in bulk, cook double meals and freeze the leftovers ( and, NO, nobody is too good to eat leftovers, no matter what they may think), use dried beans, rice, etc to make your meals go further, plant a garden and use fresh vegetables to fatten your food budget! To me, these are common sense things, but I’m constantly amazed by how many others don’t know how to cook, to shop, or how to stretch their food dollars!

  18. No Excuses on August 30th, 2013 8:46 am

    I’m with bewildered. That is a great idea to teach “responsiblity” in a fiscal sense to those who need to learn to make ends meet on a limited income. Give a person a fish, they eat for a day. TEACH a person to fish, they eat for a lifetime!

  19. randy on August 30th, 2013 8:45 am

    get a JOB

  20. cantonment mom on August 30th, 2013 8:15 am

    Sickofitt:: That’s a fantastic idea! I wonder how we could go about doing that. I myself receive food stamps, but I’m a single mom of 4 and am a waitress. I spend about $2.65 per meal. We should get together and find a way to make this work.

  21. Preda on August 30th, 2013 7:51 am

    Yet we spend billions to help other countries.

  22. bewildered on August 30th, 2013 7:16 am

    To get public support to maintain or increase these social programs it should be known exactly how much foodstamps a person/family is entitled to each month. Then, some serious budgeting workshops are needed to teach all public assistance recipients how to make ends meet with the alloted amount like a working person has to do. As long as welfare recipients are able to pick the most expensive items in a grocery store and buy cigarettes, alcoholic bevverages and all kinds of frilly items after completing their “eligible” purchases, additional help through foodbanks are only enabling these individuals to live irresponsible lives.

  23. sickofit on August 30th, 2013 6:21 am

    when people on the dole are allowed to buy anything they chose food stamp abuse becomes rampant,junk food and prime steaks and lobster etc. should not be allowed.
    Require the person to keep their receipts from their purchases,and submit them to a case worker every 3 month’s or so to justify the spending.

  24. just saying on August 30th, 2013 5:46 am

    My grandparents lived off their social security after they worked their whole lives. They also received food stamps. Tired of seeing those who worked their whole lives and paid their due to support freeloaders.

  25. Just sayin' on August 30th, 2013 12:59 am

    I receive food stamps myself, so please don’t misunderstand me, but there are those out there who get them and trade them for money to buy their dope. I reported one girl repeatedly (and the man she sold them to), but no one ever did anything. She sold $100 worth for $35!!! No wonder the system had to make cuts!

    It’s people like that who ruin it for everyone else.

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