Food aid cuts could strain food banks

Written by Craig Layne, Morning Edition Host/Reporter | Aug 29, 2013 1:35 PM

(Harrisburg) -- Looming cuts to the federal program that was once known as food stamps are causing concern for food bank operators.

The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank says the cuts slated for November could amount to between $30 and $40 million in reduced spending on food in the midstate over the course of a year.

Executive Director Joe Arthur says the food bank would likely have to double its capacity to keep up.

"These cuts really matter. This is more than just arithmetic, it's more than just budget balancing," Arthur says. "It seems to be a really politicized issue, but for us it's not about politics, it's just about people getting enough nutritious food."

Arthur warns the cuts will also affect grocery stores and farm markets, where food stamp recipients spend their aid money.

Pennsylvania is in line to see about $183 million in funding cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as "SNAP."

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates the cuts will mean 21 fewer meals each month for a family of four.

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