Provided by the Texas Food Bank Network
On Friday, Nov. 1, over 36,000 Lubbock County residents who receive SNAP (aka food stamps) will begin experiencing a benefits reduction mandated by Congress three years ago.
Over the next eleven months, an estimated $4.2 million in federal nutrition funding will be drained from Lubbock County as a result of the reduction. The cut, equivalent to 1.6 million meals, comes as Lubbock families of all income levels plan for the holidays with their families. A family of four will face an average decrease of $36 dollars in monthly food aid.
"This cut comes at the worst time for the families in Lubbock who must rely on SNAP to put food on the table," said Celia Cole, CEO of the Texas Food Bank Network (TFBN). "The South Plains Food Bank stands ready to help its neighbors in need, but our food banks cannot make up for a cut of this magnitude."
The SNAP benefit decrease marks the abrupt end of a temporary increase made available by the 2009 Recovery Act (ARRA). These funds were designed to help hungry families during the harsh recession and phase out slowly as the economy recovered. Instead, Congress voted in 2010 to cut funding short, creating a Thanksgiving benefit cliff that will likely increase food insecurity in Lubbock.
58% of Lubbock County SNAP participants are children or seniors. In addition to the November cut, Congress is debating whether to cut $40 billion from SNAP through the farm bill. Lubbock Representative Randy Neugebauer sits on a committee that will debate these cuts.
"You can help your hungry neighbors this holiday season by supporting the South Plains Food Bank," said Cole. "But you can help them for many holidays to come by reminding Congressman Neugebuaer of how valuable SNAP is to your neighbors in need."
The Texas Food Bank Network provides a unified voice among food banks in support of their common mission to end hunger in Texas. Learn more at TFBN.org.