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Cuts Coming To Food Stamp Program

SCRANTON — Starting Friday, those who get help through food stamps will be getting less money.

The federal government will be cutting back the program unless Congress takes action. In Pennsylvania, that will affect nearly two million people.

We talked about the cuts with those who use food stamps in West Scranton.

A federal boost to food stamp funding back in 2009 is set to expire. On Friday, those who use access cards in Pennsylvania will see their benefits cut anywhere from about $11 a month to more than $65 a month, depending on income.

Rose is a single mother from west Scranton.

“Hopefully, they won’t cut me back too much because that’s what I live on for the month. It would really hurt me.”

The average payout for food help in Pennsylvania is $265 per family per month.

Georgina Kersavage is on disability and getting food stamps to help.

“I think the cuts are not a good idea because the prices are going to go up and the people are going to hurt.”

“It’s crazy, because it’s hard for low income families to even survive in this world,” said Candy Chesar of Taylor. “I work too, but it’s hard, it’s really hard

Chesar says too many people abuse the program but with two of her children with her shopping at Gerrity’s in Scranton, she said this will hurt those who really need it.

“It’s a big cut. They’re supposed to cut $35. When you have a family, it’s hard to support your family and with Thanksgiving coming and Christmas, it’s really hard.”

While nearly two million Pennsylvanians get help buying food through food stamps, many other taxpayers point out they have to help pay for it.

These cuts are expected to save the U.S. $40 million over 10 years.

“People need food stamps,” said Don Jones of Scranton. “I think they should have random drug and alcohol tests of people that don’t deserve them and cutting it back will hurt the people that do need them.”

Senator Bob Casey joins many other Democrats calling for lawmakers to prevent these cuts to the food stamp program, but if nothing is done they go into effect on Friday.


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