SNAP Snapped: Food Stamp Cuts Go into Effect
Nationwide reductions in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) went into effect on Friday. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the program was expanded to meet hardships individuals and families faced because of the recession. As a result, spending and benefits for the program increased dramatically. Approximately $34 billion in benefits were granted in 2008; in 2012, that figure was approximately $74 billion.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an organization providing policy research and analysis, explains that provisions to curb the spending have been in place for several years. The sunset date for the program was first set for April 2014 in P.L. 111-226, which passed both houses of Congress, and was signed by the president in 2010. The date was then moved to October 31, 2013, with the passage of P.L.111–296 in December 2010.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities also gives figures on the increases, and now decreases, to SNAP that originated in Washington, D.C. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act increases, a family of two received $44 extra per month. For a family of three, it was an additional $63, and a family of four received $80 more. With the sunset provision in place, a family of two will lose $20 per month, $29 less will be given to families of three, and $36 less to families of four.