Locals react to possible food stamp cuts

Locals react to possible food stamp cuts

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- A temporary increase in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known as food stamps, may end this month.

Back in 2009, the federal government stimulus plan pumped about $45 billion into the SNAP program.

At the end of this month, that temporary increase in food stamps is set to expire.

Douglas County residents might have different views about the program, but most people we talked to agreed on one thing: The impact.

John Wise-Walcott of Canyonville says he thinks people using the program will be hit hard. "I think it's a big impact," he said. "The people that depend on that, it's going to hit them more than people know."

If the increase expires, those getting food stamps will see the 5% increase in benefits go away.

Joanne Taylor of Roseburg says there is another problem: The time of year. "If we have a severe winter it may mean the difference between kids having a warm house, and that's not a good thing," she said.

Some say that even with the extra food stamp benefits each month, it's still not enough. "For myself, I use food stamps and it doesn't get me through the whole month," said Azalea resident George Dickson.

Denise Houck from Camas Valley agrees. "I can't afford it," she said. "I mean, I can't even afford hot meat half the time or milk or eggs. It's hard when it's so expensive."

According to the Oregon Department of Human Services, nearly a quarter of Douglas County receives SNAP benefits.

If the stimulus increase ends on October 31, as many as 26,000 residents may be affected.