Food Stamp cut could hurt residents in Reading

Author: , Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published: Oct 21 2013 10:35:24 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 22 2013 07:23:16 AM EDT
READING, Pa. -

Making ends meet just got a bit harder for people living in the second poorest city in America.

Funding for the national Food Stamp program, otherwise known as SNAP, is taking a 13% dip and people in Reading are not happy about it.

"Actually I am not shocked because they are cutting everything," said Reading resident Maurice Claston.

"I think it is a shame for the people like my mom when we were growing up--someone who definitely needed it," said Reading resident Rosa Rodriguez.

The reason for the 13% cut is because back in 2009 there was a law called the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act that raised SNAP benefits to help people affected by the recession. But now, a part of that law is expiring.

"I guess the government needs money. They are gonna do what they have to do and the poor people are going to suffer," said Claston.

People we spoke with say even a cut of $36 a month can mean a lot to families in Reading.

"Some people do not have jobs. They are low income. Some people do have jobs and pay high rent and still need food stamps to help them out," said Reading resident Alex Rodriguez.

One of the women we spoke with who uses the program did not want to appear on camera but says the real root of the problem is the lack of jobs.

"If they are going to keep cutting everything off and you are not helping us to get a job or something that we can maintain our bills, until we get a job. And you are taking probably the only thing we are getting to eat. It is going to get worse," said anonymous Reading woman.

Families will notice the cut come Friday November 1st. The USDA offers tips to help people prepare healthy meals on a low budget.