CREATED Nov. 1, 2013
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - More than 1.1 million Arizonans need to make ends meet this month on a tighter budget after cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assitance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, went into effect Friday.
To support her three daughters, a woman who didn't want to share her name, supplements an income and food stamps by donating blood.
"You're not completing depending on the government," she said, "but I mean that is a help because sometimes what you make is not enough."
Families of four, like this woman's, will receive an average of $36 less per month.
"What type of impact will that have on you and feeding your children?" 9 On Your Side asked.
"Well I mean with the groceries and everything going up its wow," she said. "Unless you get the milk on sale you're almost paying three dollars a gallon for milk."
Today's cuts are the result of additional funding from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act running out.
But Congress contemplating further food assistance cuts doesn't sit well with expecting mother Veronica Ortega. She receives food stamps through her mother.
"As it gets closer for me to move out of my mom's house, what's going happen to me if I go to apply for food stamps and I have a baby on the way and a four-year-old daughter," Ortega said.
Local food charities like the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona are bracing for a boost in business.
"They're going to be going looking someplace else for food to make that up," Food Bank spokesperson Jack Parris told 9 On Your Side. "It is going to be an added burden on us, but we're here to try to help those families."
Supply is up from last year, but so is the demand, Parris said, and he expects that demand will only grow over the next couple of weeks as families figure out how to get by with less.