Feedback: Food Stamp Benefits Cut

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Visiting the Watertown Urban Mission food pantry is a monthly ritual for Kayde Lilley.

She says food stamps already don't stretch far enough.

This month, Kayde will lose at least $11 dollars out of the $200 she receives through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps.

She's not happy about it.

"I think they need to help all the people that are in desperate need like this and not cut them off," said Kayde.

Kayde, like more than one in ten people in Jefferson County, is on food stamps.

All of them will see their benefits decline by 5.4 percent because federal stimulus money included in a 2009 bill ran out.

"For these families, yes, this is how they put food on the table and every dollar counts," said Teresa Gaffney, director of the Department of Social Services in Jefferson County.

For example, a family of four would lose $36.

That's 12 gallons of milk or 36 boxes of pasta. 

Food pantries like the Urban Mission anticipate they'll have to make it up.

"It's important that we realize that this is just one more added stress to those people who are already stressed because of the economy," said Father Steven Murray, a member of the Urban Mission's board of directors.

For Kayde, working isn't an option because she's disabled.

Her plan is to go to more than one food pantry to get enough to eat and just hope the pantries can support her.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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