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Food Assistance Programs Face Cuts If Farm Bill Expires

If a new farm bill doesn't go through Congress, food prices could go up and benefits to assist needy families could also suffer big cuts.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Second Harvest Community Food Bank knows that the people who qualify for SNAP benefits or food stamps could gain access to more food if they're enrolled in those programs.

"That is assistance that the food bank and non-profits in general can't provide.  It helps fill that gap at home," said Tamara Grubb, Director of Operations for the St. Joseph-based food bank.

Second Harvest has signed more that 1,500 people up for SNAP benefits since their Closing the Gap program began in December, 2011.

Their goal is to sign up at least 850 more by the end of this fiscal year, next June.

But their efforts could be limited if a new Farm Bill isn't passed

The current Farm Bill is scheduled to expire at the end of September.

"Any time there are cuts to federal assistance programs, that typically means longer lines at the food bank or the food pantries.  That means more folks that are relying on non-profits in the area for food assistance," Grubb said.

Grubb says those with benefits will also see cuts in November when funding from the 2009 Stimulus also expires.
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