3 Million Will Get Hit By Food Stamp Cuts in PA, NJ

Bye-bye, stimulus.

The temporary boost in food stamps that arose out of stimulus spending to combat the recession has officially ended. $5 million has been cut nationwide from the program, and more cuts may be coming.

Nearly three million people in Pennsylvania and New Jersey will have their benefits cut by around $29 per month for families of three, and $36 for families of four, according to data from the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger. That translates into 21 lost meals per month for families of four.

This is what it that looks like on the ground.

A former auto mechanic living on disability, [Voorhees 56-year-old Leon] Zankiw gets SNAP benefits of just $16 a month. He’s unsure how much of that will be cut, but he’s worried nonetheless. “It’s not a lot but it helps. I’ll probably have to cut off my phone so I can still eat. I’m very upset.”

In a surprising twist, one of the biggest losers from the expiring food stamps–in addition to recipients–will likely be big box retailers like Wal-Mart, according to Bloomberg.

Nearly half of all food stamp redemptions are in big-box supercenters such as Wal-Mart or Target while most of the rest are in supermarkets, she said. Of the total $72.9 billion in food stamps redeemed, $36.2 billion went to supercenters like Wal-Mart and Target and $25 billion to supermarkets, she said.