Food assistance cutbacks to hit Tennesseans hard

Food assistance cutbacks to hit Tennesseans hard (Image 1)
Food assistance cutbacks to hit Tennesseans hard (Image 1)

In less than one month, more than one million Tennesseans are going to have to find a way to make a dollar stretch much further.

A federal cutback in food assistance programs, or food stamps, is expected to hit Tennessee especially hard.

The cutbacks are the first to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, in its history.

The cuts are five percent for each family, which may not sound like a lot, but for a family of four, officials said that's $36 per month of food they will go without.

Officials with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee said since 2008, there has been a 50% increase in demand for food assistance in Middle Tennessee.

“I heard a story the other day of a family who was living in a very well-to-do community and they lost both of their jobs, and their electricity was out and both of their kids were living off free and reduced meals at school, and no one in their neighborhood knew what was happening,” said Tasha Kennard, Vice President of Communications with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.

At least 1.3 million Tennesseans currently rely on food stamps.

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