Though America’s debt ceiling will once again be raised, funding issues have forced the hand of Oregon’s Department of Human Services.
This month the agency began sending letters to about 400,000 households currently receiving Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits.
Though there were previously concerns threatening de-funding of food stamps nationwide because of the debt ceiling debate in Congress, this particular notice is related to the expiration of emergency funds granted to states during the recession under the The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Starting November 1, food stamp recipients in Oregon will see cuts to their monthly distributions as a result of the expiration of those emergency funds.
Your food benefits will decrease on November 1, 2013. Food benefits for all SNAP participants are being reduced because the state will no longer get some special funding from the federal government.
The special funding was from The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The ARRA funds raised SNAP benefits to help people affected by the recession.
The amount your benefits will decrease by depends on your household situation. You will see the decrease in your November 2013 SNAP benefits.
You can see a copy of the letter below.
According to the government the recession is over, despite there being some 48 million people currently depending on SNAP benefits to put food on the table and the official unemployment/underemployment rate in america well above 13%.
With the US Dollar continuing to lose value and prices for essential goods like food and gas in an upward trend, even small cuts for households that depend on these distributions can lead to difficulty making ends meet.
Going forward, budgetary issues may lead to further cuts. This was very nearly the case this week when SNAP directors across the country were informed by the USDA that unless a debt ceiling deal was reached benefits across the country would be defunded.
Moreover, with prices rising unabated due to monetary inflation and increased global demand for resources, each month’s SNAP benefits buy less and less food.
A breaking point is coming and, as one homeless individual noted this week, when the benefits are cut or stop completely those who depend on them will have no choice but to get their food using other means:
It’s going to cause problems… because then you’re going to come to find out that you’re going to have people starting to steal and do what they have to do to survive.
How long before government benefits no longer provide the sustenance needed by tens of millions of Americans?
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