GREEN BAY, WI -- For some northeast Wisconsin families putting food on the dinner table is about to get tougher. Starting November 1st, food stamp benefits will be cut because a temporary boost to the program is expiring.
Letters have been mailed to people affected by the cut and local Health and Human Services leaders say the impact is those people will now be forced to rely more heavily on community resources than in the past.
A slash in food stamp benefits is putting a strain on families. For some, a choice between food on the table or paying for daily necessities.
"They have to use more of their income to purchase those groceries and then they have less income to go around to the other bills they have," said Economic Support & Child Support Manager in Calumet County, Lynn Brenner.
According to the U.S.D.A. 15 percent of the population in Wisconsin is on food stamps, aso known as the FoodShare program. For the average family of four receiving benefits the cuts mean a reduction of 36 dollars a month.
"Elderly we find will; not fill prescriptions or people will turn their thermostat very low. There are other places out there that can help," said Brenner.
For many, that will mean turniing to food pantries for help, like Paul's Pantry in Green Bay.
"People are allowed to shop for their groceries, we feel that provides more dignity being able to choose what they want," said pantry director, Craig Robbins.
Paul's Pantry provides each household with enough food for a week, every week, for as long as needed if you meet income guidelines. And pantry leaders say they're prepared for a busy winter.
The benefits expiring this Friday were funded with stimulus money through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009.