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2013 IN REVIEW: Millions Impacted By Cuts In Federal Food Stamp Program

(credit: Pat Loeb)

(credit: Pat Loeb)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — November marked the first time in the 80-year history of the food stamp program that benefits were cut across the board to all 47-million recipients at once. The New Year may hold even more cuts.

“I was receiving $189 and now I receive $178.”

Peggy was part of an informational picket outside an upscale supermarket in Fairmount, a place she says she could never afford to shop. She explained that she lost $11 a month in food stamps on November 1st, when a boost in benefits that was part of the economic stimulus package expired.

“I mean, it might not seem like a lot, but it means a lot because that could be milk, bread, another meat, to help me make it through the month.”

Even before the cuts, federal officials who administer the program say food stamps didn’t last most families a full month. Josh, an unemployed Philadelphian with a wife and daughter says, after the cuts, it got worse.

“We’re behind on rent and bills this month already.”

But not as bad as it could get. The November cuts totaled $5-billion. House republicans have proposed cuts of $20-billion. Even democrats have proposed cuts of of up to $9-billion. Josh doesn’t get it.

“If they think they’re going to pay back their $17-trillion by cutting people with food stamps’ food, they’ve got a long way to go.”

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