The Food Bank of North Alabama is on alert as nearly a million Alabamians are about to have food stamp funds cut.
On Nov. 1, nearly everyone receiving food benefits through SNAP, formerly food stamps, will see a reduction in assistance. That's the date the 2009 Federal Stimulus Package and the tens of billions of dollars it used to boost the SNAP program will end.
The Food Bank of North Alabama said each SNAP recipient should expect at least a 5% decrease in assistance. The food bank is stocking up in an anticipation to try to fill the void when the date hits. Food bank leaders report the problem is compounded because of the timing of the benefit reduction.
"It's hitting right during the holiday season when we do see an increase in demand," said Food Bank of North Alabama executive director Kathryn Strickland. "It's actually the holiday season and the summer time when there is a spike in the need for food assistance."
The food bank did report some good news on Tuesday. Because of the government shutdown deal the USDA appears to be able to continue a program that makes up 40% of the food bank's donation. The food bank had feared a prolonged shutdown would have forced the deliveries to stop and would have impacted thousands across North Alabama.
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