OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahomans who receive food benefits through the Department of Human Services (DHS) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as “Food Stamps”) will see a decrease in their benefits beginning Nov. 1.
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, benefits were increased to offset effects of the recession. Those increased benefits will expire Oct. 31.
Many Oklahomans who receive SNAP may see their food budgets significantly impacted. Each household varies, but on Nov. 1 a family of four with no income and no other changes to their case will see a decrease in their monthly benefits of $36. That is the equivalent of a recipient’s benefit decreased to $1.40 per meal, per person, per day, or a family of four losing 21 meals per month.
Additionally, these cuts will have an economic impact on the state. This estimated cut will be $66 million in lost revenue to Oklahoma from November 2013 through September 2014. Oklahoma’s grocers will feel the impact directly as SNAP recipients will have less food budget money to spend in the stores.
A total of 628,956 Oklahomans received SNAP benefits in August, setting a new all-time record high. DHS urges those recipients to be aware of the upcoming cuts and plan their food budgets accordingly. SNAP has always been intended as a “supplement,” and not meant to account for an entire food budget.
Recipients may visit the DHS website for links to the U.S. Department of Agriculture which provides resources to help people eat healthy meals on a low budget.