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Many Hoosiers stressed over food stamp benefit cuts

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INDIANAPOLIS – More than 900,000 Hoosiers who use food stamps will notice their benefits shrink.

Starting Nov. 1, Hoosiers will receive less money from a federal program called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The reason Hoosiers will notice less money is because the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 expired. Previously, the stimulus fund allowed Hoosiers to receive extra money.

There’s another change Hoosiers need to get used to: the date they will receive their benefits.

As of today, if a family of four normally received $368, their benefits would be cut by $36.

Amy and Floyd Shoults have relied on food stamps for many years. They received a letter a month ago warning them about the changes.

“I don’t like what is happening. I don’t like what the government is doing as far as cutting things,” Amy Shoults said.

The Shoults food stamp benefits will now be $20 less. The couple said they barely made it each month before and now their situation will be worse.

“It does put a big dent and with us being on limited income, it makes it a lot harder,” Floyd Shoults said.

Amy and Floyd Shoults plan to make adjustments to their budget.

“It’s gotta get better. I know it won’t,” Floyd Shoults said.

Amy Shoults said they are going to hold onto their faith, as they struggle to figure out what to do.

“We need to come together and we need to start petitioning our leaders and say, ‘Hey, this isn’t right,'” she said.

Ever since it was announced food stamp benefits would be reduced, food banks have seen more people that need assistance. Midwest Food Bank has noticed more clients. The past month and a half they have been busier.

“Everyone is seeing an increased amount of need. There’s 1 in 6 Hoosiers (who) are experiencing food insecurity, so that means longer lines at the food pantry,” Cindy Heffren with Midwest Food Bank said.