Families notified of food stamp cuts


Reporter- Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist- Randall Barnes

PADUCAH- Families who receive benefits from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have been receiving notices their benefits will shrink next month.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is notifying recipients the cuts could come as soon as November 1.

The change is coming as an increase of benefits expires. In 2009 the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) increased the funding by 13.6%. As of October 25, Congress has not voted to extend this stimulus funding.

CHFS’ Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) administers the Kentucky food benefits program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), in every county.  DCBS Commissioner Teresa James said the temporary stimulus funding helped thousands of Kentuckians through a worthy program.    

“The additional funding made a significant impact on our customers’ access to nutritious foods,” James said. “Though we are disappointed this extra funding is lapsing, we will still provide benefits to eligible customers and connect them with other community resources that can help feed their family healthful meals on a lower budget.” 

The long-term change in benefits, after the stimulus funding expires, will depend on household size, income and expenses. A household of two who currently receives $367 a month will likely see a decrease in benefits by $20 a month to $347 per month.

ustomers can access their specific benefits changes and receive alerts by logging on to the state’s SNAP customer service website.

Customers cannot appeal the change in benefits because the decrease is a result of a change in federal law.