State Senator discusses Federal SNAP program

The 2009 Recovery Act's temporary boost to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP benefits ended on November 1, 2013.

SNAP, the federal program that provides nutrition assistance to eligible individuals is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net. When the Great Recession hit in 2009, the federal government boosted the program, offering more benefits to those who were eligible.

Five years later, benefits are being reduced by 5 percent. One State Senator says it could be because our economy is in a state of growth.

"The federal government for the past five years have been extending that program, and for whatever reason, the guys and gals in DC decided that enough's enough," said State Senator Joey Fillingane.

"In the past few years, if you still haven't found a job, it's time to get out there and look for a job really hard. Time to get on the workforce roles."

Fillingane says those who are recently unemployed need not worry.

"There are still state programs in place, and I think they run about 26 weeks, so if you're newly employed, you're still going to receive benefits," he said.

He weighs in on how SNAP and unemployment coincide.

"It was really difficult for many people to find employment, and so the figures show that within about 6 months of people being off of those benefits about 75 percent of them managed to find work," he said.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients had their benefits reduced by about five percent in November. A household of four faces an average loss of $36.00 a month.