The U.S. food stamp program is expected to shrink in upcoming months after stimulus funds expire on Nov. 1. Recipients will face a massive benefit cut, resulting in the loss of “16 meals a month for a family of three”, a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis revealed.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, popularly known as SNAP, costs the government nearly $80 billion a year to operate. These funds provide food aid to 14 percent of US households — a record 47 million people. Come this Friday, 5 billion in federal food aid will be lost. According to the Margarette Purvis, the president and CEO of the Food Bank for New York City, the cuts will have an impact on area food banks. 76 million meals “will no longer be on the plates of the poorest families”, Purvis told Salon magazine:

“The fact that they’re going to lose what’s basically an entire week’s worth food,” said Purvis, “it’s pretty daunting.” She told Salon magazine that [although] policymakers “are attempting to punish people for being poor,” and “people are comforted by believing that they know that a person has to have done something wrong in order to be poor,” [actually], “I can tell you that more and more folks have more than one job and are still needing help.”

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