A family of four in West Central Illinois depending on SNAP benefits will lose $36 a month starting in November thanks to federal spending cuts.
Right now, a household of four can receive up to $668 per month. The loss of $36 per month adds up to nearly $400 each year. Cuts to SNAP benefits will affect everyone who uses the program, including veterans, working single moms and the disabled.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an individual will lose $11 per month, households of two will miss out on $20 a month, and households of three will lose $29 every month.
Our reporting partners at WICS ABC Newschannel 20 talked to Department of Human Services spokesperson Januari Smith.
“The SNAP program helps working families buy food and groceries they need to be healthy and survive,” says Smith. “We anticipate this decrease will increase traffic at food pantries and the like.”
The cut to SNAP benefits is actually more like an expiration. In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act increased SNAP benefits as part of a stimulus plan. The plan was for the immediate SNAP increases to expire as inflation increases caught up. But in 2010, Congress passed a bill to end the added SNAP benefits sooner before inflation costs caught up.
About 16 percent of people in Illinois use SNAP benefits to cover their grocery bill.
“In some counties, some of their human services departments do classes on how to cook cheaper meals to try to help them deal with the decrease,” says Smith.
The benefits are set to be reduced on Friday.