4 November 2013, 18:24

Food stamp stimulus over, 47M Americans have less for food

By Crystal Park

WASHINGTON (VOR)— The food stamp stimulus President Obama implemented in 2009 has expired, cutting aid to 47 million Americans. On average, a family of four will get $36 less each month for food.

A year after the recession hit, the president passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which injected $787 billion into an ailing economy. Now, after four years of slow economic recovery, the number of Americans depending on food stamps is higher than it was in 2009.

Christine Melendez Ashley, domestic policy analyst for Bread for the World, says the economy is still a major reason for the increased numbers on food aid.

"The recession is a big part of it. I know that we hear reports that the economy is getting better, and that the unemployment rate is slowly coming back down. But for a lot of families that are trying to find work, they probably have, but are working lower wage jobs."

This week, Congress is set to open negotiations on the Farm Bill, which includes the food stamp program. Both Democrats and Republicans agree there should be cuts, but disagree on how much.

The end of the Obama extension will save the U.S. government $11 billion over the next few years.

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