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Wednesday, 30 October 2013 15:23

Putting food on Michigan tables harder after Nov. 1

(AREA) -- Michigan's nearly 1.8 million recipients of government food assistance are going to have to make do with less aid starting Friday. The reduction will be felt nationwide in November because extra benefits that were part of the federal stimulus program in 2009 are ending. Cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly called food stamps and known as the Food Assistance Program in Michigan, come as Congress considers even deeper cuts. The Michigan Department of Human Services says the average family of four on food stamps in the state will receive $36 less a month. In the Thumb, the 28,219 residents in St. Clair County on the program will lose $2.9 million in assistance next year. Lapeer County has roughly 11,500 residents on food assistance, Tuscola County has 9,830, Sanilac County currently has 7,447 residents in the program and Huron County has 4,365. The U.S. House has passed a Farm Bill that cuts nearly $40 billion in SNAP funding over the next decade. The cash assistance is added to debit cards once a month, so some recipients will notice the decline earlier in November and others later in the month. DHS spokesman Dave Akerly says recipients can call 888-689-8914 to see exactly how much their assistance is declining, but they should wait until after their November benefits are loaded onto their cards.