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Jan 29, 2014 8:29 PM by Pearce Bley, KSBY News

New farm bill could affect millions on food stamps

"I don't really think they care if people are going hungry or not," said Loretta, who lives on just $189 worth of food stamps a month.

"They just say hey, we can cut this program, we can cut that program even if it's doing a lot of good," she said.

Loretta is upset about a new comprehensive farm bill passed by the House of Representatives Tuesday which could have a negative impact on Californians who use food stamps.

The proposed bill could cut as much as $90 a month for individuals, almost half of what Loretta gets now.

"Do I think it's fair? No. Of course not," she said.

Under the new legislation, continued subsidies for farmers would be funded by making cuts to food stamp programs across the country.

"In November we already saw a drastic cut to household benefits," says Aracely Aceves-Lozano, who works for the San Luis Obispo County Food Bank. "It was an average of $32 a household."

Aceves-Lozano also works for CalFresh, California's version of the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

"With this proposed cut of $8 billion, it's going to affect recipients as well as food banks and other charities that help with food assistance," she said.

Even though there will be cuts if the bill is passed, they will be smaller than some lawmakers had originally wanted. The $8 billion that would be cut over the next few years is about one percent of the yearly budget. The House had initially sought to cut five percent.

The new bill would make it more difficult for those living on food stamps, but Loretta says they're ready for what might be coming.

"We have to do it one way or the other," she says. "We'll do the best we can."



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