Food Stamp Cuts Will Impact Thousands Of Oklahomans - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

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Food Stamp Cuts Will Impact Thousands Of Oklahomans

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Nearly 630,000 Oklahomans, which Beutler says is a record high for the state. DHS has seen a steady increase in the number of people receiving the money. Nearly 630,000 Oklahomans, which Beutler says is a record high for the state. DHS has seen a steady increase in the number of people receiving the money.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Big cuts are on the way for thousands of people across the state who get help from the government to pay for their food, and it will soon have an impact on Oklahoma's bottom line.

The SNAP benefits were increased in 2009 to offset the effects of the recession. That increase will expire November 1, and now, struggling families who rely on the money will have to find other ways to make ends meet.

"I think it's terrible. I really do," Joyce Payne said.

9/18/2013 Related Story: Oklahoma SNAP Recipients To See Cuts In Benefits

Payne is the sole care-giver of her 50-year-old niece. Her niece was in a car accident in 1959 that left her severely brain damaged, but Payne didn't apply for government assistance to help supplement their income until 2002.

"I'm retired, and I'm on a fixed income, so it's very important that she gets it," Payne said.

"This is really unprecedented, because all SNAP recipients will receive a cut," said DHS Spokesperson, Mark Beutler.

Nearly 630,000 Oklahomans, which Beutler says is a record high for the state. DHS has seen a steady increase in the number of people receiving the money.

"Not really sure why we're seeing such a jump, but the bottom line is there are still a lot of hungry people out there," Beutler said.

The individual amounts will vary by household, for example, a family of four with no income will see a decrease of $36 in their monthly benefits. That's equivalent to a loss of 21 meals per month.

"Thirty dollars or so a month, I mean, that's significant," said Torri Christian, Food Bank of Oklahoma.

Christian says close to 40-percent of the families it serves are SNAP recipients. The help supplements what SNAP can't.

"We're working in a time of already increased hardship, and we're absolutely stretched to our capacity," Christian said.

"We'll just cut corners and make ends meet," said Payne. "That's what we'll do."

The cuts will also have a major statewide economic impact, an estimated $66 million in lost revenue. People will simply have less money to spend in grocery stores.

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