Missouri Food Banks Are Unprepared To Handle Food Stamp Cuts

2 years 7 months 6 days ago October 21, 2013 Oct 21, 2013 Monday, October 21 2013 Monday, October 21, 2013 9:38:00 PM CDT in News
By: Paige Hornor, KOMU 8, Reporter

COLUMBIA - Many Missourians on food stamps will face challenges getting meals with the proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP).

SNAP gets funding from the American Recovery Act and the Farm Bill.

The American Recovery Act will expire at the start of November cutting 10 million dollars from Missouri's SNAP funds. The SNAP cuts in the Farm Bill though could have a much more serious impact. The proposed cuts in the House version of the bill come close to 40 billion dollars and the Senate version totals four billion.

For Missouri, the House version cuts would mean an eight million dollar decrease every year for ten years, totaling an 80 million dollar cut. Glenn Koenen, Hunger Task Force Chair for Missouri Social Welfare, estimates this would cut five million meals in Missouri. He says, "the average benefit per person per meal in Missouri will drop from around $1.40 to about $1.30."

The director of the Missouri Food Bank Association Scott Baker said those cuts would have a serious impact on Missourians.

"If people don't have the proper nutrition, that's going to impact education, that's going to impact the productivity of our people, our economy so you are talking about a foundational issue when you talk about proper nutrition and that's what the SNAP program helps to provide," Baker said.

According to the USDA report on Household Food Scarcity, Missouri has the second highest rate of very low food security in the nation at 7.6 percent. Arkansas is the lowest at 8.6 percent. Baker said these cuts have come at a bad time, to say the least.

"The fact of the matter is hunger is very real in Missouri, and it's in every county of our state," said Baker. "People in Missouri are having a hard time choosing between their medications or food, their rent or food."

Darrell Black has received food stamps for fourteen years. He is currently unemployed and receives 27 dollars a month in food stamps. He used to receive 137 dollars.

"That affected me pretty bad, because it's not enough to live on," said Black.

He says he does not want to see his food stamps cut again.

"We need our food stamps to have food to live on and I just don't want it to decrease anymore than what it is," Black said.

All U.S. House Republican representatives in Missouri voted in favor of the 40 billion dollar SNAP funding cut. The two democratic representatives, Congressman Lacy Clay and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II voted against the bill.

"Our bill will not take a single calorie out of the mouths of children, the elderly, or those who are disabled," said Congresswomen Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) "All individuals who qualify for food stamps will continue to receive nutritional assistance."

But Baker said most people receiving SNAP benefits are children, seniors and families.

"That would cut about 1.5 billion meals a year over the next 10 years so you are talking about a real impact on people who rely upon this benefit to provide basic needs like food," Baker said.

Missouri Food Banks hand out 95 million pounds of food a year, but Bakers says that is not going to be enough to make up for the meals that will be lost.

"I can tell you right now the Food Bank Network and the Food Pantry Network is not prepared to fill that void. We just can't," Baker said.

"This program was intended to be a food safety net for needy children, seniors and the disabled," Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-3) said. "However, the President has loosened access to the benefit programs by waiving bi-partisan work requirements that has resulted in a 164 percent increase in enrollment over a very short period of time that cannot be sustained."

Baker agrees that the enrollment has increased, but he says that's because of the recession.

"A lot of people say that people who might be kicked off of SNAP they should just go find a job, well it is easier said than done given the lingering effects of the recession," Baker said. "It is very difficult to go find a job right now, especially one that pays a livable wage."

Dorris Cooper had to stop working in 2005 when a knee injury prevented her from working. She receives 14 dollars a week in food stamps and says that is not enough.

"What is 14 dollars? You can't buy anything with 14 dollars," Cooper said.

Cooper is in debt and says it is hard to get enough help, even with the SNAP assistance.

Missouri, however, has the second-highest payment error rate in the nation at 6.44 percent according to a report released by the USDA in September.

Hartzler's website says she approved "the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act, cutting $39 billion of waste, fraud, and abuse from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) over the next 10 years."

"Nobody wants to see the waste, nobody wants to see the fraud." Baker said. "But the fact of the matter is the program as a whole has a 1 percent inefficiency rate nationwide and most federal program would kill for that kind of inefficiency rate."

Lawmakers have until the end of this year to agree on a new farm bill. To see both the House and Senate version of the bill, click here. To make a donation to Missouri Food Banks, visit their web page.

Editor's Note: This story was updated October 22nd. The quote from Blaine Luetkemeyer was originally attributed to Billy Long, which was incorrect.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
MOBERLY – Mid-Missourians could immerse themselves in history this Memorial Day weekend at a World War II reenactment in Moberly.... More >>
10 hours ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 7:39:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
CENTRALIA — A Memorial Day display in Centralia is one that turns heads as people pass by. The "Avenue... More >>
13 hours ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 5:26:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - VFW Post 2657 celebrated Memorial Day with the sale of “Buddy” Poppies. VFW members and volunteers stood... More >>
15 hours ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 3:08:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The 28th annual Salute to Veterans Celebration and Air Show took flight Saturday at the Columbia Regional Airport.... More >>
17 hours ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 1:08:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers took steps this year to address the growing number of drug overdoses, but health... More >>
17 hours ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 12:54:44 PM CDT in News
BUTLER (AP) — A western Missouri community is grieving after the death of a spunky 12-year-old who was killed in... More >>
18 hours ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 11:41:14 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – While many convenience stores are working extra hours to keep up with record-breaking Memorial Day travel predictions ,... More >>
19 hours ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 11:02:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City woman who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of her 2-year-old... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 11:10:23 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — A 22-year-old man was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries Friday after he was shot twice.... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 10:52:00 PM CDT in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — A man has been arrested and charged in the death of a man whose body was... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 8:15:25 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Friday as severe storms could bring more flooding throughout... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 7:38:00 PM CDT in News
CASSVILLE (AP) — Authorities in southwestern Missouri say an 8-year-old boy has drowned in a creek. The Missouri State... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 6:34:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Local troopers remind Missouri residents what's important this Memorial Day weekend while on waters. The Missouri State... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 6:01:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri mega-donor Rex Sinquefield is pouring millions of dollars into political committees before the Aug. 2... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 5:44:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City, Missouri, man is accused of assaulting a female city animal control officer and... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 5:28:51 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — A pursuit that ended with a wrong way crash on Providence Road on Wednesday morning led to charges... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 4:13:00 PM CDT in Target 8
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A prominent GOP political donor is again supporting Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder as he runs for... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 3:50:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster warned consumers on Friday about Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scam calls. ... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 3:35:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 62°
7am 63°
8am 67°
9am 72°
10am 76°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:30a
F1 Countdown
7:00a
Formula One Racing
9:00a
Paid Program
6:30a
Paid Program
7:00a
Tomorrow's World with Roderick Meredith
7:30a
In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Carmichael Show
7:30p
The Carmichael Show
8:00p
American Ninja Warrior
6:30p
Primal Fear
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Cougar Town