Utah families on food stamps could be cut off soon

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States across the country are being told to stop the supplemental nutrition assistance program for the month of November, pending further notice.

That's according to a letter from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Fox 13 obtained a copy from the Crossroads Urban Center in downtown Salt Lake City. Crossroads says if Utah families don't get food stamps, they'll turn to the local food pantries, which are already strapped due to the government shutdown. Homeless people Fox 13 talked to, some who use SNAP, say losing food stamps would mean going hungry.

"This is going to create a huge hardship for the people we serve here in our food pantry," says Bill Tibbits who is the Associate Director at Crossroads Urban Center.

They posted a letter from the USDA on its Facebook page. It says in part, "in the interest of preserving maximum flexibility, we are directing states to hold their November issuance files and delay transmission to state electronic benefit transfer vendors until further notice."

"What this means if there's not a deal, if Congress doesn't reach a deal to get federal government back up and running, in Utah about 100,000 families won't get food stamp benefit," says Tibbits.

In other words, tens of thousands of Utah families may not be able to feed their children come November.

People out on the streets like Richard Phillips says, "It could impact us and it's going to cause problems because you're going to come to find out that people are going to steal and do what they have to do to survive."

"People out here are going to go without food," says Loralee Smith whose been homeless since August and says the uncertainty is making her uneasy about where her next meal will come from. "I'm on food stamps, I don't know if I'm going to get them, a lot of people are on food stamps and they don't know if they're going to get them."

Others say if SNAP shuts down, they'll find a way to feed themselves.

"There's always food pantries to go to, to get food," says Mason who is homeless and relies on food stamps. However, Crossroads says there's no way they could handle the increase if food stamps go away.

"We'll be affected because if people, if a family doesn't get food stamp benefits, they're going to come here," says Tibbits. "Wee can't, there's no way we could deal with it."

The local pantries are already feeling the pinch because WIC, a federal program which provides baby formula and food to families in need has been affected by the shutdown. With SNAP on the chopping block temporarily, Crossroads fears their shelves will soon be empty.


  • Mark sampson

    Getting a job is not half as hard as anybody makes it seem. I am a felon now working for a marketing firm. People with REAL disabilities can be one thing. I just hate the amount of lazy people we have on Food Stamps. In reality it makes me sick.

    • Finn

      True. I know that there are over 200,000 OTR jobs for trucking to start with. There’s more. Few people want jobs in agriculture. The list goes on.

  • Guy Gadois

    It’s already been said in some circles that This country will fall to thunderous applause.

    These people will willingly walk into the gas chambers on the promise of a free cookie.

  • thomas jefferson

    Locked and Loaded- hope for the best but prepare for the worse, when Martial Law begins i WILL NOT COMPLY, i will Protect and Defend my Family at ALL Costs,,,,,

  • Connie

    If you’re homeless, why do you need food stamps? Where are you going to store and how are you going to cook all that food???

  • amanda heineman

    Not all people that are on food stamps are lazy some of us have true disabilities or have jobs,but dont make enough. Some of us are in school and have afamily we need to feed i for one am tottally disguted that people think everyone on this are lazy check facts before opening mouth

    • Eric Anderson

      I don’t think anyone is arguing that people with legitimate need should be cut off.

      But consider this: They WILL be cut off by simple economics, when the nation is bankrupt….and the reason it’s going bankrupt is the DEADBEATS who are on welfare because of their LIFESTYLE CHOICES.

      I ask you: Is that fair?

  • Angel

    seriously, can not feed one child and pregnant again??? insanity of new level??? what the hell is wrong with you???

  • gabby

    Foreal! My dad got 3 jobs! No foodstamps no help! He did it all by himself. Some of yall want easy jobs well if u didn’t get the education its time to work harder then.

    • David Kae

      I commend your father, but can’t help but wonder how much better your current level of education would be if he’d been less worried about how to feed you and had more time to help you learn. Food stamps do more than just supplement household grocery budgets.

  • Eric Anderson

    Seventeen TRILLION dollars in debt….up 70% just in the past 5 years. Half the country on food stamps. Taxes skyrocketing. The credit well running dry.

    If you have a job, don’t invest in gold. Invest in lead. You’ll need it.

  • Eric Anderson

    The biggest Federal budget category is INTEREST on the debt.

    A close second is ENTITLEMENTS.

    The Pentagon’s budget is a very distant third. And here’s a fact for you: If we reduced defense spending to ZERO we’d still be borrowing money.

    Tell me again how entitlements are not the problem?

  • Andrea Washburn

    Many people do not realize that a large percentage of children rely on food stamps. There are multitudes of people with full time jobs that do not make enough to cover basic living expenses. Walmart systematically pays people a small wage. Taxpayers pick up the cost of not having a living wage.
    Food is something that everyone deserves to have. We have a system where we can’t even live without having to pay.
    I am self-employed and make a good wage, but I still can’t seem to get money into retirement. I think we need to do a better job looking out for each other. All of this judgement of other people’s situations isn’t helping anything.

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