SIOUX FALLS, SD -
As Rebecca shops at Sunshine Foods in downtown Sioux Falls, she's very aware of what she can and can't afford with her Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP benefits.
"I've had to cut back on meat intake, such as chicken and hamburger. I've had to come up with a lot of dishes that require beans," Rebecca said.
The woman, who only wants to be identified by her first name, is splurging on chicken breast this week. But says her $200 food benefits a month doesn't go far with rising prices. And with a federal reduction cutting that back even more, she's not sure what she'll do next.
"That kind of scares me a little bit," Rebecca said. "It is hard enough as it is right now, even losing five or ten dollars a week for a single person, I'm going to have to cut back even more."
The reduction will take effect November first, according to South Dakota Department of Social Services, and will equal approximately $11 less a month for a one-person household or $36 less a month for a family of four.
Single mother of two, Michelle Stoll used SNAP during the recession and knows how difficult it is to make the benefits stretch to the end of the month.
"You add up the milk, you add up the sandwiches, all of that stuff, it doesn't last very long," Stoll said. "That's like taking a whole week for one person away."
SU: Ninety-seven percent of SNAP benefits are redeemed at grocery stores and farmers markets and the cuts could have an impact on the local economy.
"They're saying that employment is up and they are acting like nothing is wrong when actually we are still in hard times here," Stoll said.
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