Potential Cuts to SNAP Will Impact Eastern Shore Communities - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Potential Cuts to SNAP Will Impact Needy Eastern Shore Communities

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SALISBURY, Md-It's no secret many families struggle to put food on the table everyday.

In the past decade the Department of Agriculture said that the cost of the food program that helps to feed the hungry has sky rocketed as the number of people relying on food stamps has grown dramatically in recent years.
 
Now, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill to cut nearly $39 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP. 

Republicans say the bill would revive the program's original eligibility limits and protect the safety net for those who are truly in need. The bill however did not get any support from Democrats.

Jennifer Small who is the managing director of Maryland Food Bank Eastern Shore said that if money is slashed by the billions to the federal program then the food filled shelves will start to look empty within the next few years.

"We're talking about thousands of meals that are going to be missing from people who are already struggling to put food on the table," Small said, "the individuals that we are feeding are already the working poor, they are the middle class they are no longer the homeless individual who has nowhere to live, it's now people who have jobs who are scrimping and trying to figure out how to pay their mortgage and pay utilities."

A few of those families are dependent on bagged food that they receive from Roxie Connelly who is the home school liaison at West Salisbury Elementary. Connelly said that right now there are 75 families of some of her students whose only meal is the one they get from their child's school.

"If all the children who came here had to buy their lunch where would we find the money for those that needed it?" she said, "what this would lead to is an unhealthy generation."

John May who is the senior vice president of operations said that if the cuts were to become definite they will hurt the need for food in Maryland adding that the demand has been on the rise for some time now.

"On the Eastern Shore where we see a lot of the increase is shut down of plants where we have what was the working poors where it was two households but now it's one house hold and also the elderly population which is also growing since it's a great retirement community out here," May said.

If the cuts were to happen, Maryland will lose $82 million in SNAP benefits meaning 774,000 SNAP recipients will be impacted. 

Delaware would lose $44 million with 424,000 people effected and Virginia would lose $99 million with 941,000 people impacted. 

The bill passed in the House and now sits in the Senate.
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