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Okla. Food Stamp Cuts Coming

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LAWTON Okla_ It will soon be harder for Oklahomans who receive food stamps to put food on the table.

Starting November 1st, people receiving food stamps will see a cut in how much money they get each month. The SNAP program has been receiving stimulus money from the federal government since 2009. The stimulus money was given to SNAP due to economic downturn, but as of November 1st, that money will be gone. 622,000 people in Oklahoma will be affected, and Oklahoma stands to lose an estimated $66M in SNAP federal funds due to these cuts. This could cut 21 meals per month for a family of four.

The SNAP program is commonly referred to as 'food stamps'. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutritional Food Program. In 2012, nearly 12,000 children in Comanche County received SNAP benefits.

Director of Comanche County Department of Human Services said each family will be affected differently. So at this point, people just need to be aware the cuts are coming.

"The hope is to get this information out and to get people aware that there may be some cuts to the benefits," Davis said.

Davis said SNAP is meant to only supplement the individual's nutritional needs, not to be the entire source of the food budget for a family or individual.

For some people, it won't even be doing that. Jayne Cooper said her family has already been cut back from food stamps.

"It's kind of tough, because there is like two weeks in between at the end of the month that we don't have any food in the house," Cooper said.

Even with a job, by the end of the month, Cooper said she has run out of money and needs help to feed her two grandchildren she's raising.

"Sometimes, I'll save up pennies that I've got and do that to get bread and maybe some hot dogs, but that's not what you should be raising your kids on," Cooper said.

Cooper said during those few weeks, she turns to the food pantry and churches to make it until the next month.

"We're lucky in this community," Cooper said. "We have a lot of community resources that do help people with nutrition and food."

Davis said not only will this affect families just trying to put food on the table, it will also affect grocers and Oklahoma's economy, as well.

In addition to the loss of stimulus money, the House Republicans are pushing a bill that could cut another $40B from federal food aid programs over the next 10 years.


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