Can Food Banks Make Up for the Millions Lost in SNAP Benefit Cuts?

Written by Dan Michel, Digital Marketing Manager of Feeding America

Think about every person on the SNAP program. That is a lot of people. That’s over 47 million people in America.

Well, today, November 1, those millions of people will feel a cut to their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP benefits.

The average cut will be $36 to a family of four each month. For these people, $36 could really make a difference in their well-being. We went to a grocery store to see how much we could get for $36. Turns out, we could really add value nutritional value. See an array of produce, protein, milk and pasta that we were able to purchase below. This could mean the difference for somebody not having to go to work on an empty stomach or a child trying to learn in school when their stomach is growling.

Photo credit: Feeding America

While these cuts were unavoidable, the bad news does not end here. Congress has just appointed a committee to examine the Farm Bill which provides oversight to the SNAP program. One proposal would cut an additional $40 billion from SNAP.

Feeding America distributes 3.2 billion meals a year, but we can’t do this alone. With the November 1 cuts and the proposed cuts, Feeding America’s nationwide network of food banks would have to more than double their distribution to make up the difference.

Photo credit: Feeding America


How can we sit back and let Congress dictate who thrives in our society? We must protect our struggling friends and neighbors. SNAP is not just a government program. It is about people. People who need our help. And we have to do it together.

Tell Congress to protect programs that help people in need. Spread the word on Facebook or Twitter to all your friends that you find this unacceptable.

Together We Can Solve Hunger. Together we can all be Feeding America.

*Analysis by Feeding America
1.The $40 billion SNAP cut in the House nutrition-only farm bill divided evenly over 10 years would equal $4 billion in lost SNAP benefits in FY14. Lost meals calculated using average cost of a meal ($2.67) from Feeding America’s annual Map the Meal Gap report.
2. The value of SNAP benefits lost due to the ARRA cut is $5 billion in FY14. Lost meals calculated using average cost of a meal ($2.67) from Feeding America’s annual Map the Meal Gap report. 3. Feeding America’s internal meal projections for Feeding America Fiscal Year 2014 (July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014).

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


shari halvorsen
shari h4 years ago

Food bank/pantry lines are increasingly longer with the cuts to the SNAP program. If at all possible, please donate to your local food bank/pantry so that those who are in need, can eat. Consider holding a food drive through work, school, church, etc... My autistic son once held an open- mike benefit concert in a local park for our local food bank/pantry as a culminating project in high school. He collected 80 pounds of food for the food bank that day and felt great to be able to give back to a place that has helped our family periodically through the years.

Mary B.
Mary B4 years ago

Of course food banks can't handle the need. Not every town or neighborhood has them, and not every person who needs food can get to them. But the biggest problem with 'fraud and abuse' issues is that once you remove the moral judgments about people doing what they need to do to feed themselves and their families, their is no issue.People must eat, if you can't understand that simple fact you are not worth listening to.And if you are too cowardly to insist that our safety net programs be funded directly from the treasury because you think that's socialism so you'd rather whine about 'lazy people' stealing your tax dollors, you are worthless as far as bringing about solutions.Your taking up space and adding nothing of value.How does it feel to have your own judgements thrown back in your face?

Lynn C.
Lynn C4 years ago


Lindsay Kemp
Lindsay K4 years ago

I think all politicians who are elected should have to spend a few months living on an income equal to what people on benefits receive, with no outside help from friends and family, and in social housing. That way they would know what it feels like. They might make the same decisions, but they would be made and communicated with so much more compassion.

Karen Chestney
Karen Chestney4 years ago

The food banks can't make up the difference...not possible. If you haven't done your congressperson...especially if they're a Repub. Tell them to reinstate SNAP cuts in Farm Bill. Not right to cut SNAP while some of them get subsidies for land they don't even farm.

Dani C.
Dani C4 years ago

crock of crap

Trina Hawkins
Trina Hawkins4 years ago

These inconsiderate pricks dont care if anyone go's hungry! They have $$$ to burn ! Without a Healthy people,how do they expect people to work,gotta have food ! Those of US who Cant work,myself included,Im disabled,cant survive without Food ! After working my whole life,its like getting crumbs to survive on every month ! Im a Cancer Survivor,my adult son is also disabled from a car accident,he has a TBI,so Im his legal guardian,as his brain dont work right! I stretch our food as much as i can,but some times its just not enough ! :( How can $22.00 a month from Snap feed 2 adults for a month? It Cant ! :(

Joseph Glackin
Joseph Glackin4 years ago


Of course they were unavoidable! To avoid the cuts the Congress would have to DO SOMETHING!

And that ain't a gonna happen with these crooks.

B J.
BJ J4 years ago

Cuts to SNAP were unavoidable?? What crooks and liars!

Joseph Glackin
Joseph Glackin4 years ago


We are going to need a LOT of garlic.