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Food Stamp Cuts Could Hit Oregonians Especially Hard

OPB | Sept. 20, 2013 3:55 p.m.

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Those who rely on food stamps could see major cuts to their benefits. A House bill that passed Thursday slashes nearly $40 billion from the federal program. Jordana Gustafson reports on how those cuts would affect Oregonians.

Oregon's food stamp benefits are distributed via Oregon Trail cards.

Oregon's food stamp benefits are distributed via Oregon Trail cards.

Oregon Department of Human Services

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that nearly 4 million Americans would be dropped from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – known as SNAP – starting next year.

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, a Republican, was the only Oregon delegate to vote for the food stamp reductions.

The cuts could hit Oregonians especially hard because, according to Jon Stubenvoll, one in five households here relies on food stamps. Stubenvoll is advocacy director for Oregon Food Bank.

“Those Oregonians experiencing hunger will need to eat,” Stubenvoll said. “Where are they going to eat if their food stamp benefits are cut?”

Stubenvoll said the food bank network is already stretched thin, and that children and seniors would be disproportionately affected by the cuts.

Oregon’s unemployment rate is still higher than the national average.

In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called the House bill shameful and said the Senate will not pass it.

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