SNAP benefit cuts said to affect local economy - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

SNAP benefit cuts said to affect local economy

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

With recent cuts to the federal supplemental nutrition assistance program, many families are looking for other ways to stay fed.

But the cuts could affect more than just those receiving snap benefits.

$200 is what Evelyn Brock's family received from the SNAP program every month to supplement food for three, but cut after cut with the program brought their total down to just $50, just before it was taken away all together.

"They said my husband made a dollar over what they were allowed," said Brock. "If we did not go to food banks, we would not eat sometimes."

This is just one story of thousands, about people needing help to keep their families fed.

You may feel the effects of the cuts, even if you're not in Brock's position.

"Dollar for dollar food stamps is one of the most economic forms of stimulus, in fact, for every $5 in food stamps it generates $9 in economic activity," said Charlie McDaniel, with Legal Aid.

According to Feeding America, Hamilton County alone stands to lose nearly $7 million in cuts from food stamps. Bradley and Whitfield counties, more than $2-million, Walker and McMinn counties, more than $1-million.
    
"When someone gets their food stamps they spend it immediately in the local economy and that generates needs for goods and labor, which creates jobs and goes full circle to stimulate the economy even further," said McDaniel.

Charlie McDaniel says while the larger communities will feel the biggest hit, financially, smaller communities will experience a different problem.

"Food stamps may be some children's only access to nutrition and healthy foods, so we may see not only that economic impact, but a real impact on families not being able to give healthy food to themselves or their children," said McDaniel.

Brock says with the most recent SNAP cuts in November, there is now no possibility to get any help.

"We're just going to have to survive like we are," said Brock.

"We know the families are going to be impacted. We know the children are going to be impacted. We know they communities are going to be impacted and where it ripples from there we don't know yet, and hopefully it won't be as bad as maybe it can be," said McDaniel.

If you would like to see the full list of how Counties will be affected economically, click here.

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