Today the 2009 Recovery Act's temporary boost in SNAP (food stamp) benefits expires. This will translate into a benefit cut for each of the 424,000 SNAP recipients in Connecticut.
The change will cut SNAP benefits an average of $36 for a household of four. A household of three, such a mother with two children, will lose $29, or a total of $319 a year. The cut is equivalent to 16 meals a month for a family of three, based on the cost of the US Department of Agriculture "Thrifty Food Plan". 87% of SNAP recipients live in households with children, seniors or people with disabilities. These cuts directly affect the most vulnerable.
The cuts have a direct economic impact. According to a Center for Budget and Policy Priorities study, Connecticut will receive $44 million less a year in public benefits. The cuts will decrease the disposable income of many families, creating a ripple effect on local retailers and businesses. The Congressional Budget Office has long ranked SNAP as one of the most effective fiscal stimulus programs: the money goes to families in need that spent the money right away. Pulling these money out of the economy will also hurt the economy as a whole, not just its recipients.
Congress is working on the long delayed farm bill, with House and Senate delegations trying to reach an agreement in a conference committee. The House proposal includes more than $40 billion in cuts; the Senate $4 Billion. As part of our work with the New England Consortium CAHS is advocating to the New England delegation to stop these cuts.
SNAP is a crucial part of this country's safety net. We can not afford any more cuts.