EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Cuts are on the way for people who use a government program to help put food on the table.
The SNAP program, also known as food stamps, serves more than 13,000 people in Eau Claire County alone. Starting on November 1st those who use the program will notice they have less money to spend on groceries.
The Eau Claire Department of Human Services says cuts for an individual will be $11 a month, for two people it will be $20.Three people will see $29 cut and a family of four will see $36 missing per month on their food share benefits.
The cuts have food pantries preparing to welcome more people into their doors.
“We just looked at our records and our pantry has grown 600 percent,” Pastor Jim Page with the Trinity Lutheran Church Food Pantry said.
Pastor Jim page says they are always happy to welcome new faces to the food pantry, and he expects more to come through the doors as cuts come to people using food share.
“Due to the end of the 2009 stimulus funding that the federal government had given the SNAP program, also known as the food share program that has ended so they (benefits) are going back to their normal levels,” Linda Struck with the Eau Claire County Department of Human Services said.
Struck says the cuts go into effect starting on November first for everyone who uses the program.
“So you take 36 dollars out of the equation when times are already tight I anticipate our pantry probably having a significant increase as well,” Pastor Page added.
The Human Services Department says people who get the benefits have known about the cuts for a while now but now they might be forced to make changes to how they spend their money.
“Maybe going to a generic food or maybe cutting things out in order to maintain their family needs to be able to fit what they need for groceries,” Struck explained.
Struck says if families who receive benefits feel like they can't meet all of their grocery needs after the cuts take place there is an appeals process.