Farm bill likely to cut deeper into food stamp program

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More than half a million low-income Minnesotans are seeing a reduction in government food assistance, due to the expiration of a 2009 temporary boost in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that went into effect Friday.

Food stamps are being cut by $5 billion nationwide this year, a total of $11 billion over the next three years, The Hill reported.

The program that benefits about 10 percent of Minnesota, 536,900 adults and children, will lose $55 million in benefits between Nov. 2013 and Sept. 2014, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The size of the cuts depends on how much each household qualifies for. WCCO reports it's about a 7 percent drop in benefits on average.

MinnPost breaks down reductions for the maximum benefit based on family size: An individual who receives $200 each month in food assistance, will see a decrease of $11. A family of four receiving $668 per month will see a $36 decrease.

Minnesota Public Radio shows how much food $36 buys in Minneapolis.

More cuts to the $80 billion food stamp program could be in the future. This week lawmakers in Washington began negotiating the farm bill, which funds SNAP.

The House-passed version of the bill would cut nearly $40 billion from SNAP over the next 10 years, a provision that Pres. Barack Obama said he would veto. The Senate passed a bill that would only reduce the benefit by $4.5 billion.

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