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NeighborImpact Concerned About Possible SNAP Cuts

BEND, OR -- Local assistance agencies are closely watching Congressional budget talks, as lawmakers consider cuts to federal nutrition programs. Republicans have proposed slashing funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the modern-day version of Food Stamps. Jason Carr tells KBND cuts to the program would impact more than just those who receive benefits. "When you look at the numbers in Central Oregon, for example, there are 23,000 households in the tri-county area currently receiving SNAP benefits. That equates to $5.3 million each month coming into the local economy. On the one hand, yes it would impact families who require or need benefits. But, there’s also an economic impact in that grocery stores and other providers that offer food resources would see that impact as well."

 

He says the program is a lifeline for a growing number of Central Oregonians who have yet to recover from the recession. "Seniors and veterans, for example, have been hit really hard because as they try to find affordable housing, if those housing costs continue to rise, they have to make a decision between ‘gee, do I make my payment this month for housing or food?’ So, we’re seeing more seniors and veterans accessing or needing food assistance."

 

Congress is looking at several options to help balance the budget, including a decrease in SNAP funding, and making it more difficult to qualify for benefits.

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