Thousands of people will see their Foodshare benefits go down starting Friday. It’s because a temporary federal program that began in 2009 is ending.
The American Recovery Act gave people extra food stamp money during the economic downturn. It raised maximum Foodshare benefits by more 13 percent when the federal law took effect.
But Claire Smith, spokesperson for the state Department of Health Services, says the impact won’t be as dramatic when the extra benefits expire November 1st.
“When the original increase in 2009 happened, it was thought that due to cost of living increases, the regular foodshare benefits would catch up with the ARA levels by the time that law ended. And that hasn’t quite been the case.”
A family of four with no income will see the biggest change. They’ll see their benefits go down about 36 dollars. That’s about 5 percent.
Smith says the dollar amount will be smaller for people receiving fewer benefits.
“So if there’s a household size of one, the maximum they would receive would be $200 a month. And that’s if they had no income. Their allotment would go down $11 to $189 a month.”
Smith says Foodshare recipients were notified of changes by mail earlier this month.
There were almost 4700 recipients enrolled in FoodShare in Oneida County in July.