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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Shutdown could stop November food stamps

Posted by on Oct. 3, 2013 at 12:17 PM
  • 209 Replies

Food stamp recipients in Texas need to prepare for a reduction in benefits with or without continued gridlock in Washington but nutrition programs for pregnant women, new moms and babies aren't in immediate jeopardy.

A prolonged federal government shutdown might delay November's disbursements to millions of Texans, but a planned cut to food stamps - the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP - already was set to begin next month.

In Texas, more than 3.4 million people representing 1.4 million families receive federal SNAP benefits, which are administered by the state. In the greater Houston area, roughly 800,000 people depend on the supplement.

The potential double-whammy looming in the food stamp program dates back to the 2009 stimulus.

"They passed a big increase and tried to see if the normal annual cost-of-living increases would catch up," said Texas Health and Human Services Commission spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman.

That didn't happen. So, whenever SNAP cards are reset next month, the amounts will be roughly $11 less per person.

"For a low-income family, that's going to be a hit," Goodman said.

Talisha Burnom, a 30-year-old mother of three, said she didn't know food stamps could be affected by the shutdown.

"How am I going to feed my children?" she said outside of the Texas Health and Human Services office on Harwin.

Pregnant women and guardians of youngsters will continue to receive benefits through the Women, Infants and Children program, also known as WIC, because the state has enough money to keep the program running - for now.

Texas Department of State Health Services spokeswoman Carrie Williams said the agency will make its $48 million-a-month commitment in October to provide supplemental nutrition and education to nearly 950,000 low-income pregnant women, mothers and children.

"We're using federal funds we had before the shutdown to continue to provide services," she wrote in an email. "If the shutdown continues, it could start impacting services in the longer term."

Juanita Davis, who renewed her WIC benefits on Wednesday and receives food stamps, said she's concerned about how the government shutdown would impact her 10-day-old daughter, Ta'Nita.

"It might affect us getting food and me taking care of my brand-new daughter," the 26-year-old said outside of Houston's Southwest Multi-Service Center. If her benefits were cut, Davis, her mother and her niece would turn to community resources.

"We usually go to the churches that have food," she said.

Houston Food Bank spokeswoman Betsy Ballard said her agency has been preparing for the Nov. 1 food stamp reduction.

"That alone could cause an increase in the need that will be visible at our partner agencies - the food pantries and kitchens. And then you have the shutdown roll along and that puts a lot of question marks and uncertainty across the board," she said.

The food bank, which serves at least 137,000 meals weekly, estimates that an average greater Houston family of four will have a $36 decrease in SNAP benefits beginning in November. The shutdown also could reduce the agency's supply that comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Ballard said, though the food bank should be OK for about one month.

"We just hope we don't get to the point where we're at a real crisis situation," she added. "We are also concerned that the people really in need are going to panic with all of this uncertainty. We don't want to cause urgency immediately because we may be just fine."

by on Oct. 3, 2013 at 12:17 PM
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Replies (1-10):
JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Oct. 3, 2013 at 12:21 PM

 I'm curious how much it is costing states to continue to fund these programs during the shutdown.

Della529
by Matlock on Oct. 3, 2013 at 12:29 PM

 Bump for later. 

momtoscott
by Platinum Member on Oct. 3, 2013 at 12:59 PM
3 moms liked this

Wondering whether you consider this to be good news, OP.  

tanyainmizzou
by on Oct. 3, 2013 at 1:02 PM
7 moms liked this

I think giving them notice they could be delayed is.


There are too many people who think they are owed these just because.  Maybe this gets them more motivated to find away to support their families.  There are a ton of jobs available in Houston.   People just need to get over the idea that they are above working certain jobs.


However, my opinion on this is known, so I see no reason to turn this post into another flamefest on me.

LaBuenaVida
by Bronze Member on Oct. 4, 2013 at 5:57 AM
12 moms liked this

 You mean people may have to rely on themselves!?!?  NO!

sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Oct. 4, 2013 at 6:05 AM
4 moms liked this
Has nothing to do with being owed

Too many people can't feed their children, god to know you think they should starve


Quoting tanyainmizzou:

I think giving them notice they could be delayed is.


There are too many people who think they are owed these just because.  Maybe this gets them more motivated to find away to support their families.  There are a ton of jobs available in Houston.   People just need to get over the idea that they are above working certain jobs.


However, my opinion on this is known, so I see no reason to turn this post into another flamefest on me.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Mommabearbergh
by on Oct. 4, 2013 at 6:15 AM
1 mom liked this
Well seeing some of those furloughed people are on foodstamps now its kind of sad this may hit them while they are down. Like bam no work for you but you still gotta pay bills btw you know those foodstamps you depend on because the people on the hill are idiots and you have no money. Yeah well now your getting less food. In the end I hope the food pantries will be able to take the extra people that will seek out places giving food.
alc4evermom
by on Oct. 4, 2013 at 7:38 AM
1 mom liked this


I agree!  I think that within every age and socioeconomic level, we have people with underdeveloped communicative and survival skills.  The thing that is so terrible about it is that many of these people are able bodied.  I would never be too proud to bag groceries for an extra hundred dollars a week---I could knock out two bills with that;  but someone some people would be completely lost and melt into the floor in a position like that for the reasons I have mentioned.  

Quoting tanyainmizzou:

I think giving them notice they could be delayed is.


There are too many people who think they are owed these just because.  Maybe this gets them more motivated to find away to support their families.  There are a ton of jobs available in Houston.   People just need to get over the idea that they are above working certain jobs.


However, my opinion on this is known, so I see no reason to turn this post into another flamefest on me.



alc4evermom
by on Oct. 4, 2013 at 7:43 AM
3 moms liked this


I live in a high poverty part of Michigan, and people think that they are owed a lot.  Some can't feed their children because they are felons and can't get jobs so they get stuck in a cycle and their children suffer. Obviously this doesn't apply to everyone but it applies to many in our high crime areas.  Feeding yourselves well at home on a low budget also requires a good imagination which many people have lost in our pizza roll and kool aid culture.  

Quoting sweet-a-kins:

Has nothing to do with being owed

Too many people can't feed their children, god to know you think they should starve


Quoting tanyainmizzou:

I think giving them notice they could be delayed is.


There are too many people who think they are owed these just because.  Maybe this gets them more motivated to find away to support their families.  There are a ton of jobs available in Houston.   People just need to get over the idea that they are above working certain jobs.


However, my opinion on this is known, so I see no reason to turn this post into another flamefest on me.



Woodbabe
by Woodie on Oct. 4, 2013 at 7:48 AM
6 moms liked this

I really worry about crime going up, when people get hungry they tend to get desperate.

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