Why Idahoans Can Expect A 5 Percent Decrease In Food Stamp Benefits Next Month

Oct 15, 2013

Credit beancounter / Flickr

A temporary increase in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, expires at the end of October. That means 47 million Americans, including 221,717  people in Idaho, will see less money each month for food.

“In April 2009 there were stimulus funds added to the food stamp program," says Idaho Department of Health and Welfare spokesman Tom Shanahan. "Those funds actually are going to expire at the end of October, so come November 1, people who are on the food stamp program will probably see about a five percent reduction in benefits.”

The federal stimulus pumped more than $45 billion  into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, starting in 2009. That boost gave one in seven Americans on food stamps a monthly increase.  Now that the extra money is running out, SNAP recipients are getting a letter in the mail explaining that their benefits are about to drop.

“If a single person is receiving the maximum benefit,” says Shanahan, “and that’s about $200 a month, that will decrease to $189.”

The monthly benefits fluctuate based on factors including food prices, income, and inflation. 

In Ada County, more than 45,000 people are on food stamps. In Canyon County, it’s more than 41,000 people. 

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