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Federal Food Stamp Program To Lose $5 Billion In Funding Tomorrow

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By Ileana Diaz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–Emily Edwards works full time and makes $1,000 a month but after rent and utilities there is little left, so Emily and her five-year-old rely on food stamps.

“That’s how I feed my son, how I feed myself and my $358 in food stamps doesn’t even last a whole month,” said Emily Edwards.

The 2009 stimulus act that initially increased food stamp benefits expires this November, reducing the amount of money that the 1.8 million residents in Pennsylvania will get.  For Emily and her son, that could be about a hundred dollars less for food.

“I will have to resort to getting more canned food than fresh food because fresh food costs more,” said Edwards.

The Edwards family is not alone. Millions are affected nationally including families, seniors, children and veterans. In Pennsylvania alone, there are 766,000 children who depend on the food stamp program. Many of their schools provide snacks for kids, but that’s not enough. Emily Edwards says she is turning to food banks for help and worries hundreds of others will do the same.

“It becomes really difficult to go to pantries because even the pantries don’t have food now,” said Edwards.

Congressman Bob Brady says more needs to be done.

“As elected officials we’re supposed to help and we’re hurting the people we should be helping.”

The Congressman says he wants to help those in need but urges constituents to reach out to their leaders.

“It’s wrong and I have to fight that to try to see how much we can do to try to change this,” said Congressman Brady.

There are now several members of Congress working to extend SNAP, or the food stamp program, for another year.

Currently, Congress is considering a farm bill that could eliminate up to $40 billion in funding which could mean some families would get cut from the program all together over the next decade.

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