President Obama's 2009 stimulus package included additional funds for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, but that stimulus money runs out on Friday.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:
For families of three, the cut will be $29 a month — a total of $319 for November 2013 through September 2014, the remaining months of fiscal year 2014. That’s a serious loss, especially in light of the very low amount of basic SNAP benefits. Without the Recovery Act’s boost, SNAP benefits will average less than $1.40 per person per meal in 2014. Nationally, the total cut is estimated to be $5 billion in fiscal year 2014.
That massive cut could mean potential rioting because 76 million meals will be cut in the Big Apple alone, according to Margarette Purvis, CEO of the Food Bank for New York City.
“If you look across the world, riots always begin typically the same way, when people cannot afford to eat food,” Purvis told Salon.com. “The fact that they’re going to lose what’s basically an entire week’s worth food, it’s pretty daunting.”
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Purvis believes the poor are being punished by politicians who see shame or guilt in being poor.
"People are comforted by believing that they know that a person has to have done something wrong in order to be poor,” added Purvis. “I can tell you that more and more folks have more than one job and are still needing help.”
Purvis also blames a shift of food stamp money to the "Let's Move" program spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama
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“We were told, you know, by the president... these cuts will not happen, we won’t get rid of the program." stated Purvis. "Well guess what? November 1 is around the corner, and no one has restored that money.”
Sources: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Salon.com