Major Food Stamp Program Facing Cuts - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Major Food Stamp Program Faces Cuts

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It's one of the largest federally funded food programs in the country and Congress says future funding is in jeopardy.

The argument is over how much funding will be provided for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, also known as SNAP.

After 40 years of including money for food stamps, the Farm Bill passed last week without any. Lawmakers say they will take up the issue in a separate bill because they can't agree on how much funding SNAP should receive.

A decision by lawmakers impacts millions of Americans. More than 47 million people in the United States depend on SNAP. About one in every seven Americans receives at least $133 a month to help pay for groceries.

SNAP cost $80 billion in 2011. In 2008, SNAP totaled half that. So federal money for SNAP has doubled. That's one reason house Republicans are calling for at least a 3% cut to the program.

Here's the problem, enrollment in SNAP has increased 70% just in the past five years.

Jocelyn Lantrip is the Spokeswoman for the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. She said if these cuts are approved they will have to turn away people looking for a meal.

"They will come to us. Unfortunately, we will not be able to make up that difference. We'll have to turn them away. 83% of all SNAP benefits go to help children, seniors and the disabled."

Lantrip said the food bank is feeding about 89,000 people a month. Believe it or not, that number is actually down from last year. "It's down over the past six months or so, but the year before, it was up 70%. So it's ticking down just a little bit, but that's still a lot."

To watch the entire interview, watch my weekend show Face the State.

The show airs on Channel 2 News Saturday at 4:30am and 3:30pm. It also airs Sunday at 6:30am and 3:30pm.

Written by Chris Ciarlo

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