Cuts Coming To Food Stamp Program

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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.


  • brittany

    I am a single mother of two girls, i get food stamps. Not cash assistance and in my opinion thats where they need to be drug testing and what not for. Im on food stamps to help me feed my children. Being a single mother and not having a great job restricts me from things. As a few people have said buying generic isnt always the best, they arent always the cheapest. I buy 1.00 bread and 35cent macand cheese no i do not buy lobster or steak. Also about the “junk” food im sorry i just recently bought 4 apples for 5.00 really? When i can get a huge bag of cheese curls for 2.00 that can last half the month. Like you all are so worried about whos doing what, in reality you need to be worried about yourself. Oh and so you know i dont have an i phone or drive a nice car, i dont even own a car due to the fact that minimum wage just makes my rent and my bills.

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  • Spike Holmes

    We have to feed people. Period. We should continue to provide basic necessities as long as we send tons of money to fight famine in foreign countries. We should stop paying farmers not to produce. Is an overhaul needed? Yes. I don’t really care what another person buys in as much as most of us make poor food choices. If we push cereal, white bread, potatoes and poor grades of meat we will end up with medical needs and obesity. We will pay at B if we don’t pay at A. Did anyone ever notice there are more junk food and soda isles than fruit and vegetables? Let’s start with junk food, soft drink, and candy if we eliminate items.

    • taku

      Your taxes aren’t buying squat for me Lol! I still think watching what people pull out of thier wallets is nosey b/c it is. Anyway you look at it it’s both rude and nosey. Sorry ya’ll weren’t raised with common decency and respect for others. I realize being raised in the NE parents don’t put alot of stress on manners so it’s really hard for you to be a respectful human being.

    • taku

      My heart goes out to the rude heathens up here. It’s going to be hard getting far in life acting like a jerk to everyone around you. It must get lonely.

  • American

    Food stamps should be like the WIC program where you can only buy certain items. Make them buy the basic food groups at the cheapest cost. No more lobster, expensive steaks, candy, or any other of that crap. I work for a living and if I cant afford it, then you can’t either!! I understand if youre a disabled vet or are mentally challenged, but these people that have 6 kids and are on it for years are a leaches in society.

  • Amy

    It’s ok the person in front of me bought beef jerked, cans of Redbull, chips, candy etc equalling to 45.60 today and took off in a Lexus with an iPhone in their hand while talking hahahaha joke is on us

    • taku

      Damn your nosey!! Farreal! people need to start thinking about what they’ve got and quit worrying about what everbody else has.

    • taku

      I’m gonna start looking for the nosey rubber-neckers in the grocery store now. Wish people could be thankful rather than fret over what others have. Nosey people make me sick!

  • chris

    food stamps should only be for those who are disabled and for the elderly YOUNG OR MIDDLE AGED PEOLE WHO CAN WORK SHOULD BE WORKING ! Lower their standards of living if you can buy a iphone drive a new car and can afford tattoos and smoke OR GO TO THE SALON YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE ON WELFARE ! GET A JOB !!!!

  • Debbie Wood

    I hate to break it to you, but only 2¢ of every tax dollar goes toward welfare programs. However 13¢ of every dollar goes toward “government funded special projects”. I can afford 2¢ to feed hungry people. If it helps one family who is truly in need, I don’t mind feeding a few people who are taking advantage.

  • Nina

    I do not mind helping people in need. But I would like to re-work the entire program. I think we should pay for everything they need, all of it, day care, food, rent , utilities and so on. But for 2 years only, while they go to school (trade or 2 year college). Then it stops! Maybe have 1
    6 month extension if needed and that is it! If ,for some reason they can’t go to school, than they should work for that money. Pick up a paint brush, clean the parks, and so on. This notion about giving all for nothing is why we are in financial trouble. We do not owe anyone a living. Help all that we can and help yourself.

  • Ann Westbrook

    The food stamp program should follow similar guidelines to the WIC program…certain non-sugar cereals, eggs, milk, juice. No packaged meals, meat and real potatoes like the working people have to buy! Furthermore, there should be NO buying subs at convenience stores. This is a great program, but it needs MAJOR overhall!

  • mdrake

    Has anyone brought up the fact that a lot of people sell their foodstamps for dope? No? While their kids still go hungry but they can feed their addiction? It’s disgusting. Don’t jump down my throat, I’m not saying everyone, and probably the minority of people at that. But I think these situations need to be examined. They need to set it up where it is a requirement of the state that if you receive welfare benefits, you must submit to random drug testing AT THE RECIPIENTS EXPENSE. This doesn’t need to be a big thing. This is the case with many jobs! As a matter of fact, when you are on probation, drug court, DUI court, etc. you are responsible for paying for your own drug/alcohol testing, monitoring, supervision, etc. So people that get benefits should have some accountability as well. Prove that you are not a substance abuser! If it were me, I would have no problem with this or paying the 20$ so that the state doesn’t. Oklahoma’s 80,000 bill for drug screening their applicants: when you read into it, the first proposal was that the individual would pay for it, which was about 19 bucks a person. That was denied for some reason..

    • Janet

      “As a matter of fact, when you are on probation, drug court, DUI court, etc. you are responsible for paying for your own drug/alcohol testing, monitoring, supervision, etc. So people that get benefits should have some accountability as well”……so what you’re saying is that people that receive food stamps should be treated like someone who’s broken the law……..seems to me, that someone on food stamps is clearly struggling financially……maybe $20 isn’t much to you, but to some it might mean a weeks worth of food, or gas to get to their low paying job…..I’m all for the random drug testing, but why should those who come up negative be penalized by having to pay for it?

    • Mary

      But people on Foodstamps have not broken the law (not all of them). Once employers start charging for drug tests then maybe you will have a point.

    • Tom R

      So according to you, it is the Republicans fault! Are sure it wasn’t Bush’s fault? I guess it is okay for you liberal Democrats to spend your money on drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol, and then pay for your food with an Access card, but don’t let the big bad businessman make any money. You are ridiculous!

      • meratenjou

        No one take this troll seriously. He enjoys making false accusations without knowing facts. His opinion is irrelevant. He is just on here to be offensive and narrow-minded.

  • Kathy

    Sadly my friend is a disabled vet on SSDI and receives 100 a month for food and he can’t live on that as it is. This is wrong, there are people abusing the system and those who really need it are gonna suffer. He has a service dog and every cent of his little SSDI is on bills…Please don’t make him suffer, that does not even buy 2 weeks of food as it is.

  • Debbi

    these cuts will be unfair to my son. he doesnt get much to begin with and if they cut him it will be a struggle for us. You see he and I are disabled me because of cancer and him because of mental and phyiscal problems. I thought I just read recently that they decided not to cut the food stamps? I can only pray that they cut people who are abusing the program and not the ones who rely on it to eat

  • saveoursonfromhisabuser

    I agree and disagree with many of you.

    Husband and I both have jobs and are only on food stamps to help our disabled son. We buy steak and fish. Buy meat on sale. When meat goes on sale it is either past the sell by date or about to go bad. I can buy a round steak for $3 and make it feed the 3 of us for 2 nights. I can also buy fish in packs and that only costs $4. Why would I buy a bag of chicken for $12 thatonly has 6 pieces of chicken. I could buy 4 steaks at that price and havetwice as many meals. And also, buying genericisn’t always the best option. Most times generic costs more because the store makes money from it. For example… take walmart. Their soup is called great value. I can buy a can of soup for $1.18. Campbells is always on sale for $1.00. I’m buying name brand. Just because its generic doesn’t mean its cheaper.

  • Rocky

    People can not say don’t buy sweet or junk food… what about humans who need sugar to survive? I am one who needs sugar all the time if not ill be really sick and wont be able to work. Yes some changes should be made to the system. They should limit how many months you can receive cash benifits and food stamps should only be for families who work and try to make their lives better but need a little help to make it through, or single mothers who raise her kids with no help from the father or vice versa and elder people but you can not forget the men who fight for our country and we should take better care of them and their families…

  • Angela Zimmerman

    you know there is such a thing as needing help, but some people actually make a career out of the food stamp Welfare program. I was a single mother of 4 children, my x-husband took off to Fla. & still to this day owes me 25 thousand in child support. The government never did anything to help me get it, why ?? Because I didnt Live On Welfare. And folks I worked 2 & 3 jobs to raise my children, went through hell alot of times but you know what I did it..& my children are grown adults & know what hard work & sacrifices are. Life is not a Hand out! These people on Welfare need to be Limited to how many Children they can have, “cheaper to fix them then to support them” Drug Tests & mandatory min of 24 hours a week at a job, & if they cant get a job, put them out along the roads & clean up all the Garbage laying around. Make them work or do something for their food stamps. Give your children something to be proud of, instead of teaching them to be lazy & think every body owes you…, I have always said Children are a product of their Enviroment , so if the parents cant & dont set good examples for their children, where is that gonna leave our country when we are are old?? I do believe there are people that need help, but when they just give up & take the easy way out is bull. All of my children went on to college, paid for by themselves, n my one son joined the military & is still there, They all have accomplished lives & that is because I never gave up, they tell me all the time Mom, you showed us how to be strong & go after what you want in life, no one is gonna hand you anything.

  • Annie

    Why not cut feeding people in jail those who choose that path shouldn’t get three hots and cot for free.Make them pay for their own mistakes instead of cutting food stamps.My husband and I work and have 5 children food stamps help us get by….

    • tax payer

      I agree is it the governments fualt u couldint keep your legs shut???? Its not my fualt nor any other tax payers fualt that u dk how to have a true love relashionship without opening your legs u created it u pay for it!!!!

    • Rebecca N Eric Bohar

      You shouldnt have had 5 kids if you couldnt support them. I am truly disabled- i need a transplant- YET because I only get $16 a month for food for my husband – he is awaiting ss decision- I HAD TO GET A JOB so we could eat- I dont get free medical! i pay $105 for medicare and 89 for mawd my husband doesnt have medical yet- SO BY ME BEING DISABLED BY STILL WORKING I AM PAYING FOR YOUR FAMILY TO EAT YET I CANT EAT- HUMMMM

  • George T Coggins

    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.” they did this in one state that i know of and guess what happened. out of the thousand+ people tested only 12 failed and it cost the state a ridiculous amount of taxpayer dollars. think before you speak please……….

  • PsYcK

    “HAHAHHA… They create $85 BILLION A MONTH and hand it out to their Wall Street Welfare recipients, but they are going to “save the U.S. $40 million over 10 years.” What a #$(ing JOKE! Revolution is on its way… Physical Gold, Physical Silver and BITCOINS are our weapons!

  • ERIC

    Its all just a big hustle they look at it as the government wants to take $400 to $500 a check off someone they should get most of it back since when do people care about this government i think their all a crock of shit they take $600 to $700 out of my check every 2 weeks why cant i get anything back….

  • Jonathan Daddario

    couldnt agree more don jones! the ones that do need can thank the others that shaft the tax payers. but the system really needs an over haul wasting the hard workers tax dollars. get a job i did

  • kate

    people who work everyday and have nothing should be helped!!! I work 30 hours a week at $7.75 a hour and can not get help,….but people who work 0 hours a week get it all !!!

    • George T Coggins

      people need to work on getting their employers to pay more. how much is the company owner who does next to nothing making while the people doing all the grunt work are getting shafted. one might say they cant for fear of loosing what job they do have but thats exactly the fear they are using to monopolize on said workers. there is no real reward without risk

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