Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Emptier Cupboards: Albuquerque Journal Article Illustrates Impact of Pending SNAP Cuts on Some Families

A report from the New Mexico Voices for Children a couple of weeks ago warned that the expiration of the economic stimulus package that was created in response to the 2007-2008 recession would result in a reduction in food stamp benefits for more than 442,000 New Mexicans.

The Albuquerque Journal picked up on this issue and published a feature on how this situation was going to affect some of those families.  Here is an excerpt from the article written by staff writer Elaine Tassy. 

Just about everyone who receives monthly food help from the SNAP program, roughly one in every five New Mexicans, will see a cut in benefits when a piece of the stimulus package boosting that program ends in less than two months.

New Mexico’s most vulnerable adults, and nearly half of its children, use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.

“It’ll be hard,” said Anna Martinez, 54, a disabled woman from the South Valley whose $53 in food stamps every month helps supplement her $985 in Social Security benefits. Together, that must pay for her $765 rent, plus household supplies and more than a dozen medications. She stands to see a reduction of close to $5 per month. “I don’t know how they expect people to survive,” she said, “especially if you can’t work.”

Even as SNAP benefits dip, Roadrunner Food Bank is beefing up its efforts to teach people who might qualify for benefits how to navigate the SNAP enrollment process, since thousands of eligible New Mexicans are not enrolled.

Roadrunner is also training its volunteers to show constituents how to sign up when they pick up food at distribution sites such as schools, churches and other community organizations, and it is training staff members of other community organizations on how to assist the people they serve in applying for SNAP.

Link to full article
(You can read the full piece if you have a subscription or by answering a couple of questions from advertisers)

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