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January 22, 2014

Food Banks Brace for Demand Spike as Cut to Food Stamps Looms

Food charities are stepping up fundraising efforts and gearing up for long lines as Congress prepares to cut billions of dollars from the federal food-stamps program, The New York Times writes.

House and Senate negotiators are close to agreement on a compromise farm bill that would reduce nutrition-aid spending by $9-billion over 10 years, according to the Times. House Republicans have been seeking a $40-billion decrease, while the Democrat-led Senate proposed $4-billion.

Any new cuts would come on top of a $5-billion reduction in November, when stimulus funding for food stamps expired. Food banks say that fueled a spike in demand, and they anticipate another surge when new cuts kick in.

"We’re already telling our partners—soup kitchens, churches, and food pantries—that they need to step up their efforts to raise money and secure more food," said Margarette Purvis, head of the Food Bank for New York City.