Food stamp cuts to affect more than 300,000 Mississippi households

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A temporary boost to food stamps during the recession days has now officially expired.

According to numbers given by the Mississippi Department of Human Services, more than 300,000 households in the state relying on federal aid to put food on the table will now have to do with less.

Beginning November 1, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients will have their benefits reduced by about 5 percent.

For example, a household of 4 is expected to suffer an average loss of $36 a month. For others the loss could range from $11 - $29 for a family of 3.

"A family of four that was previously getting six-hundred and sixty eight dollars is going to be dropped down to six-hundred and thirty two dollars affective today," said DHS Forrest County Director Wanda Simpson.

Although 36 dollars might not seem like a lot, more than $16,000 Forrest County residents that benefit from SNAP will see the reduction.

"The family in Mississippi is 22.5 percent that are receiving SNAP benefits," said Simpson. "In Forrest County we also have 22.5 percent of individuals that are receiving SNAP."

More than 8,000 individuals in Lamar County and more than 13,000 individuals in Jones County will also be affected by the cut. Due to the reduction, many households will have to turn to other supplemental services for additional help.

At Christian Services in Hattiesburg, a total of 12,566 meals were served for the month of October and with the SNAP benefit cut, they expect that number to increase for the month of November.

"We know that it's going to increase it, there's no choice but for it to increase because again you put folks in a bind by dropping their food stamps back," said Christian Services Executive Director Bill Prout. "They've got to do something and we hope that we're their option that they, you know, can come to and get what they need."

Many SNAP recipients have not received their funds for November yet. It won't be until the end of the month until family households and even some grocery stores will really tell how the cut is affecting them. 

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