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1.3 Million Tennesseans to See SNAP Benefit Reductions

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  State officials say 1.3 million Tennesseans who rely on federal aid to buy groceries are about to see their benefits cut.

In 2009, the federal government raised the amount of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits as the economy fell into recession. But the additional allowance for those in need of food aid will expire on Friday.

Recipients will see the amount they have to spend on groceries fall by 5.4% or about $36 dollars in most cases.

Tennessee Department of Human Services spokesman Devin Stone says there are a total of 1,334,178 Tennesseans in 660,818 households on SNAP as of the middle of September.

Tasha Kennard, a spokesperson for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee says the economy may be recovering, but the mid-state’s working poor are still struggling.

“Many of them are getting back on their feet, but a great majority of them are not. So this community still needs one another’s support and one another’s help to get back on their feet, put food on the table, and recover from the events that happened in 2008 and 2009, as well as the flood that happened to this community in 2010.”

Kennard says the food bank has received a number of calls from families receiving SNAP benefits, asking about getting the agency’s assistance if this week’s aid cuts make it impossible to make ends meet.