MS could take big blow from potential food stamp cuts - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Potential food stamp cuts could hit Mississippians hard

"I don't get it cause I can. I get it cause I need it," explained Canedra Jones. "I don't get it cause I can. I get it cause I need it," explained Canedra Jones.
One in four Mississippians use food stamps to put meals on the table. One in four Mississippians use food stamps to put meals on the table.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

One in four Mississippians use food stamps to put meals on the table, but those benefits could be in jeopardy.

The food stamp program is usually lumped in with the farm bill. This year, Congress separated the farm subsidies and the food stamp program. Now, they're debating how much it will change.

The House bill passed last week would drastically cut the overall funding. In Mississippi, it could slash the case loads by nearly 40 percent.

All of Mississippi's Republican congressmen voted for the cuts to the program. Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson voted against them.

"We will come very close, probably five million short of issuing $1 billion worth of benefits here in Mississippi," said Ricky Berry, Executive Director of Mississippi Department of Human Services. "It's a mix there of we can't have everybody in the state on the program, but then on the other hand, we want to serve the truly needy."

DHS has seen more people asking for SNAP benefits since the recession. Nationwide, the program nearly doubled the past five years.

Canedra Jones has used SNAP to help feed her family for nearly two years.

"I don't get it cause I can. I get it cause I need it," explained Jones.

Two weeks ago, she went to swipe her card and only had 57 cents left.

"I make too much with the temp job so I don't get nothing. My total is zero dollars. That's why I didn't have nothing on my card when I went to Walmart," Jones said.

She hadn't received the notification that she no longer qualifies.

"Be willing to work cause you never know. With the government if they're going to cut it, how much they're going to cut it. You have to budget and get a job cause that's the only way you're going to make it with your food stamps, is get a job," Jones said.

Berry said the program "was never intended to replace a family's obligation to provide food for their children."

Copyright 2013 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

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