HATFIELD, Mass. (WWP) - In just a few weeks, people on food stamps will see their benefits shrink.
The average family of four will see their SNAP benefits decrease by about 5% next month, making it harder for them., and harder for Distribution Centers like the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.
"We believe everyone has the right to nutritious food, regardless of their circumstances," said Andrew Morehouse, the Executive Director of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts in Hatfield.
October 31st is the final day of the current benefits.
SNAP benefits will decrease as much a $11 a month for a single person, and $32 a month for a family of four.
170,000 people here in Massachusetts receive SNAP benefits.
Jennifer Levreault is a mom with two kids. She told 22News the economy is making it harder for all families.
"We have two kids. Groceries for four people is really expensive. I think everyone right now is living paycheck to paycheck. You have to make ends meet somehow. I think it's going to be really hard for people who lose the food stamps. I know a lot of people who count on them."
Funding for food stamps was increased by the 2009 federal stimulus. But that money wasn't meant to be permanent.
This reduction in food stamp funding will affect millions of Americans across the country. Making it harder for families to make ends meet. They'll have to rely more on local food banks and survival shelters to feed their families.
And many of those local shelters get food from the Food Bank in Hatfield.
Executive Director Andrew Morehouse told 22News that what happens in the nation's capitol during these next few months will set the tone.
"If congress decides to cut SNAP by as much as $40 billion over the next 10 years, we're going to have a Tsunami effect of millions of people seeking emergency food because they just can't get by."
And with the winter months fast approaching western Massachusetts, some families could be left with the difficult decision of feeding their family or heating their home.
As congress looks to cut the budget, the U.S. House voted to slash $4 billion dollars a year from the food stamp program.
There's also a bill in the Senate that would decrease funding by about $400 million a year.