What Cutting Food Budgets Mean for North Carolina

>>1383543198000-AP-Food-Stamps-Illinois-001Life got a lot bleaker for 1.7 million North Carolinians last week.

That’s how many people in our state saw cuts to their food budgets when Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) extended benefits from the >>2009 stimulus bill expired on Nov. 1. The recent inaction of Congress meant $5 billion was cut from the SNAP budget nationwide, >>$166 million dollars from the SNAP program in North Carolina.

If you’ve ever wondered how you’re going to stretch this week’s money to feed yourself or your children then you know what “food insecurity” means. If you don’t know, then count your blessings.

Our state ranks among the top 15 states in the country for food hardship. The >>Greensboro/High Point area ranks among the top five metro in the country areas facing problems with hunger.

In Charlotte, a single, working mother of four >>saw her food assistance plummet as the nationwide cuts went into effect. Previously receiving $500 each month to feed her family of five, she saw her monthly food assistance drop to $16.

$16 to help feed a family of five – including four children.

One in three North Carolina children are impacted by SNAP cuts.

>>More than 600,000 North Carolina children are not getting the food they need to live healthy, active lives. Children suffering from hunger have trouble concentrating, are more likely to get infections and headaches, and are less likely to perform well in the classroom. They begin each day at a disadvantage because they simply do not have enough to eat.

Women and children aren’t the only ones benefiting from food assistance. Nearly thirty percent of North Carolina SNAP households have an elderly or disabled member. >>51,000 veterans in the state receive SNAP benefits. These cuts hurt people who have worked hard, served our country, and have families.

But the truth is that rolling back food assistance hurts everyone.

Cutting SNAP dollars doesn’t just mean thousands of our neighbors won’t have enough to eat, it means a setback for our state’s economy too. >>A single dollar in SNAP money equates to $1.70 in economic activity.  This means a loss of >>$280 million for North Carolina farmers, grocers, and other retailers in the next year.

No working mother should go to sleep at night worried about what she will feed her children the next day.  No child should go to school unable to concentrate because of hunger.

From the recent government shutdown to slashing food assistance, women and children are bearing the harsh consequences of a gridlocked Washington. Food is a necessity – not a political football.

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  1. Belinda Smith

    I am not a fan of the cutback, but there HAS to be more to the woman in Charlotte who received $500 then went to $16. Not reporting all of it makes us seem less believable in my opinion. :/

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