More than 47 million Americans who receive food stamps see their benefits cut on Friday as a temporary increase in food stamp dollars expires.
The cuts affect one in 7 Americans of whom almost half are children.
According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), a family of four will receive $36 less a month as a result of the cuts.
The cuts leave those who rely on food stamps to afford food with an average of $1.40 a meal.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) currently costs about $80 billion per year and provides food aid to 14 percent of all US households.
However, the program has been the target of congressional Republicans who seek to reduce spending.
On Wednesday, negotiations began on Capitol Hill over a wide-ranging farm bill which includes further cuts to the SNAP program.
Five-year farm bills passed by both chambers of US Congress involve food stamps cuts that would come on top of Friday’s benefits cut.
A bill passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is to cut food stamps by an additional $4 billion a year.
Meanwhile, the Senate farm bill would cut a tenth of the amount passed by the House.
USDA statistics show that almost half of all American children go on food stamps sometime during their childhood.
“The cuts are going to make millions of people hungry,” CBS News quoted Jim Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center, as saying
“It’s going to send people into a charitable system that’s already overwhelmed and screaming for help itself. And it will make life harder and worse for millions of children, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities.”
Source: Press TV