Struggling AZ families to see reduction in food stamps - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Struggling AZ families to see reduction in food stamps

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TEMPE, AZ (CBS5) -

More than 1 million Arizonans will soon have less money to spend on groceries.

Major cuts to the federal food stamp program will take effect this Friday.

Sarah Finn, of Tempe, is among the many Valley residents who receive food stamps from the federal government to help them get by.

Finn said the benefits are essential to helping her find a permanent place to live and allow her to go back to school and improve her life.

But starting Nov. 1, the amount of food stamp money Finn receives will be cut.

The U.S. food stamp program called SNAP, will reduce what it spends nationwide by about $5 billion.

That will mean the average family of four will receive about $36 less per month, which equates to about 20 less meals per month.

"We still have to feed ourselves," said Finn. "People have to feed their children. How are they supposed to do that when they don't make enough money to pay the bills?"

The food stamp cut is directly related to federal stimulus funding Congress approved during the recession in 2009.

The extra benefits expire Friday.

Beth Fiorenza is director of the Tempe Community Action Agency.

She said that struggling families will likely turn to local food banks to make up the difference for the meals they can't afford.

"There are a lot of families working, living in poverty, living paycheck to paycheck," said Firoenza. "This is very important to keep them out of poverty. That $36 is a big cut when you look at the numbers. It may seem small to some of us, but to others that is a lot."

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