Volunteers: SNAP Cut Will Take Its Toll Locally
By Jeff Bossert and Jim Meadows
Extra dollars for the federal SNAP program, commonly called food stamps, have ended as of Friday.
The temporary increase in food stamp funding was part of the 2009 economic stimulus, and provided about 36 additional dollars a month for a family of four.
Now, volunteer Tiffany McNeely believes many of the people she works with are expecting to run out of benefits by late November.
McNeely helps people register for SNAP benefits in the Champaign-Urbana and Danville areas. She said many recipients are left to feel like they’ve done something wrong.
But McNeely said no one should be allowed to go hungry.
"I do not believe that anyone should be without nutritious food," she said. "I understand other people want to regulate what they can buy. But my first priority is let’s make sure that our babies, our kids, our seniors, our adults have food and access to food."
Another volunteer, Sandy Finnerty with Eastern Illinois Food Bank in Urbana - says there are some misconceptions about where the cut to food stamps is coming from, including those who mistakenly believe it’s tied to the Affordable Care Act.
The Food Bank’s Julie Melton said the full impact of the reduction in food stamp funding won’t really be felt for another 6 to 8 weeks.