Monday, November 4, 2013
Our family will lose $44 in food stamps
The food stamps buy a lot of economical rice-based meals for the family -- four adults and a grandson who live with Lewis in Spring Hill, Florida.
Occasionally, when her grocery store is running a deal, Lewis indulges the family with spare ribs or chicken. The benefit -- totaling $800 for four adults -- never lasts Lewis and her family a full month. "When I get to the end, we always run out. I try to go to all the food pantries," Lewis said.
Lewis, 55, is worried because the cuts are coming at a bad time. Among other things, a second grandchild is due in January. She is also fighting the bank from foreclosing on her home.
The low point came this summer, when she didn't have enough to pay the full electricity bill. Lewis needs power to run her breathing machine to treat her illness. So she pawned her wedding ring for $325.
Enrollment in food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, has soared.
Some 47.6 million people, or nearly 15% of the population, get them, according to September federal data. That compares to 26.3 million, or 8.7% of the population, in 2007. The average benefit per person is $133.19 a month. Read more >>