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Panicking Families Brace for Food Stamp Cuts

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    FILE - In this May 8, 2012, file photo, Kevin Concannon, U.S. undersecretary of agriculture, chats with vendor Helen Wise at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh, N.C.. The federal government is spending $4 million to make such markets more accessible to food stamp recipients. Food stamps look ripe for the picking, politically speaking. Through five years and counting of economic distress, the food aid program has swollen up like a summer tomato. It grew to $78 billion last year, more than double its size when the recession began in late 2007. That makes it a juicy target for conservative Republicans seeking to trim spending and pare back government. But to many Democrats, food stamps are a major element of the country�s commitment to help citizens struggling to meet basic needs. (AP Photo/Allen Breed, File)

    Cuts to food stamp recipients go into effect Friday – a move by Congress that will slash $5 billion off the program that helps one in seven Americans put food on the table. Those Americans that receive food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are expected to lose on average $36 a month from a $273.13 per household benefit. The program supports a near-record 47.6 million Americans representing 23.1 million households. The SNAP allocations built into President Obama's 2009 stimulus plan are coming to an end, leading to the cuts. In exchange for the cuts, a bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans voted in favor of increased education funding and school nutrition programs. The food stamps cuts will have a ripple effect from poor families to the grocers that benefit when food stamp users shop in their stores.

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