61
      Saturday
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      Cuts to food stamps take effect

      <p>For a family of four receiving maximum benefits their food stamp assistance will be trimmed about $36 a month.</p>

      Friday, thousands of people in Mid-Michigan will notice fewer dollars on their bridge cards.

      It's the result of trimming $5 billion from the federal food stamp program.

      For a family of four receiving maximum benefits their assistance will go down about $36 a month.

      For a single person it means living on about $30 a week.

      It's a challenge that some are voluntarily taking to send a message.

      For one week, Rev. Todd Ousley, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan is living on just $30.97.

      "When I was checking out found I had to put things back and I couldn't go away with all I had," said Ousley.

      "It's very challenging to have any kind of reasonable spending let alone healthy on what folks get currently," said Terri Stangl, Executive Director of the Center for Civil Justice.

      $5 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will affect 47 million Americans.

      100,00 people in Genesee County and 44,000 in Saginaw are enrolled in the SNAP program.

      "This will stretch a lot of folks. We are already talking to people who say they're going to be missing meals," said Stangl.

      The costly program is also stretching the federal government with an annual price tag of $76.4 billion.

      "The program has expanded in recent years but particularly for the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, they're the ones in large part trying to cut the budget wherever they could and by whatever means they could," said Paul Rozycki, Political Science Professor at Mott Community College.

      The Senate has proposed a Farm Bill which funds food stamps.

      Its version cuts an addition $4 billion from food stamps over ten years.

      The House version cuts $39 billion.