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Effects of SNAP cuts set in

By Eleanor Black

During its monthly food distribution night Nov. 21, Wesley Evening Food Pantry was filled with families waiting to be called up so it could pick up any food items it may need.

One of those waiting was Nicole Sechrest of Urbana, who said she has been on food stamps, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, since 1999. Like many other households across the country, she had recently found out that SNAP benefits were cut starting Nov. 1.

David Lloyd, policy analyst at Voices for Illinois Children, a children’s advocacy group, said the boost was made to stimulate both the economy and aid families who were personally impacted by the recession.

“SNAP benefits are considered one of the best ways to stimulate the economy, mostly because when people receive them they immediately spend them because food is a necessity,” he said. “Economists basically estimated that whenever we give an extra dollar of SNAP benefits out, there’s a multiplier effect that benefits the economy. There’s big bang for your buck.”

Lloyd said the cuts will affect about two million people, including about 900,000 children.

“It was essentially a 7 percent cut on average, or about $9 per person, per month,” he said. “Now the average benefit per person per meal is less than $1.40. It has extremely negative effects on families who are still struggling around the country and in Illinois.”

He added that so far, the immediate effects have been on food retailers, especially as the cuts started during the holiday season.

Read the full article at The Daily Illini

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