Federal Stimulus Funding for Food Stamp Program Set to Expire on Nov. 1

HARRISBURG – Federal funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will be reduced on Nov. 1, by approximately 5.4 percent due to the expiration of the federal stimulus package that temporarily increased funding for the program.

Federal funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, was temporarily increased in 2009 due to a federal stimulus package called the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). This stimulus package will expire on Nov. 1 causing reductions to the food stamp benefits.

“The federal reduction in benefits is a small decrease but unfortunately it will affect many households here in Pennsylvania,” Department of Public Welfare Secretary Beverly D. Mackereth said. “It is our hope that our local organizations and communities can pull together to help fill the gap for our citizens in need.”

More than 1.8 million individuals receive the SNAP benefit in Pennsylvania. In 2012, the average monthly SNAP benefit per household was $265.86 issued to 869,157 SNAP households.

SNAP is federally funded through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is administered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Last week, the Department of Public Welfare began sending letters to recipients notifying them of the reduction.

Families and individuals can find helpful tips on healthy eating on a low budget www.fns.usda.gov/snap.

For more information regarding the Department of Public Welfare, visit www.dpw.state.pa.us or call 1-800-692-7462.

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