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November 08, 2013

For Food Stamps Recipients, Soup Kitchens and Hard Choices Await

Reductions in federal nutrition aid that took effect last week are already forcing tough choices at the checkout and visits to food charities for many low-income Americans, according to The New York Times.

The food-stamps budget shrunk by $5-billion on Nov. 1 as stimulus funding that has boosted the program since 2009 expired. Total spending on food stamps reached a record $78.4-million in fiscal year 2012, but individual allotments to recipients have been dropping as the number of people receiving benefits swelled to 47 million during the recession.

With the stimulus cut, some recipients of the monthly aid say they expect to run out of food money before the end of November even while reducing their purchases. Christopher Bean, the executive director of a Bronx food pantry run by nonprofit group Part of the Solution, said the cuts have brought about 60 new families to his facility in the past week.