Food stamp cuts to kick in around Thanksgiving

SAN DIEGO — Families receiving food stamps will begin experience cuts to their assistance around Thanksgiving.

A 2009 boost to the country’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program, known as CalFresh in California, has expired. It’ll hit millions of families across the country and thousands in San Diego.

“In order to pay for an increase in school meals, they cut this benefit,” said Jennifer Tracy, Executive Director for the San Diego Hunger Coalition.

Tracy said the cut comes out to about $36 less, every month for a family of four, or about a 16 meals a month loss.

Nearly 270,000 San Diegans will be affected including 136,000 children and 15,000 seniors.

There are also worries small businesses like discount grocery stores, where families often try to stretch the dollar, will feel the cuts.

“For every dollar that’s spent, there’s about a$1.72 in economic impact equating to about a $40 million total every month in San Diego,” said Tracy.

And there may be more cuts to come.

“The House and the Senate are currently working on the farm bill where the house has proposed an additional $40 billion in cuts over the next 10 years,” Tracy said.

“Because of the way food stamp payments work, families will begin experiencing the cuts right around the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Chris Carter with the San Diego Food Bank.

The San Diego Food Bank officials are expecting an influx of families asking for food assistance due to the cuts in the coming weeks.