U.S. House approval of cuts in food stamps has northeast Ohio families concerned

Measure now heading to U.S. Senate for a vote

CLEVELAND - Northeast Ohio families who depend on assistance are concerned about possible cuts in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or the food stamps program.

The U.S. House of Representatives just approved a Republican-backed measure that would call for a $39 billion cuts in the food stamp program by a slim seven-vote margin. The cut could result in northeast Ohio families losing an average of about $40 a month in assistance, if the measure is signed in law.

Anna Hines of Cleveland relies on food stamps to help her feed her family every month.

"Yes, to lose $40 a month would be a big difference," Hines said. "My message to the Senate is don't cut the program. Don't cut it out. We need it."

The West Park Salvation Army has consistently helped families in need. It hosted yet another produce giveaway with the help of the Cleveland Food Bank.

Salvation Army Capitan JR Fritsch told NewsChannel5 cuts in the food stamp program would hurt in an already tough economy. Fritsch said the need for Salvation Army assistance has been expanding month by month.

"It's been increasing. It hasn't slowed down. We've actually increased our monthly statistics for those coming in through our food pantry," Fritsch said. "Absolutely, our food pantries would be hit even harder."

If the measure is approved in the U.S. Senate, President Barack Obama has already pledged he'll veto the bill.

Residents like Jacqueline Jarrell of Cleveland hope the president will live up to his promise.

"We have a household of five, so we're really stretching the food stamps to make it to the end of the month," Jarrell said. "Cuts in food stamps would be devastating for us."

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