MEDFORD, Ore. – Oregon Trail card holders will be seeing a cut in their SNAP benefits in the next few days.
The expiration of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act will leave those families with about 5-6% less money each month. Of the over eight hundred thousand Oregonians receiving snap benefits, many have difficulty putting healthy food on the plate.
Debbie Preston, one card holder in the area, says her monthly allowance of $106 only lasts her the first two to three weeks of the month.
“I think it averages out to about a $1.30 a day per meal,” said Preston. “So you have to figure you’re getting all of maybe $4.50 a day to survive on.”
Preston, along with all other SNAP card holders across the country received letters in the mail saying that their benefits will drop starting November 1st.
The average drop for a family of four is about $40 a month.
“It might seem like nothing to you and me, but let’s say if you have a family of four, $44 is quite a bit,” said Nancy Murrish, owner of Medford’s Peach Street Market.
The Peach Street Market, serves many of those cardholders. Murrish says about a third of her customers receive benefits.
And If they have less money, so could she.
“Our business will be impacted, but of course you just have to roll with the punches on that,” said Murrish.
Unless Congress makes an unlikely move to intervene, about 47 million Americans will find themselves having to make due.
But Preston says that’s something she’s already learned to accomplish.
“You count your blessings,” said Preston. “And I hope to be off of it soon, so you just make the best of it.”
According to USDA research, about 500,000 additional families nationwide will have to skip meals or eat less due to budget constraints because of these cuts to SNAP benefits.