Proposed SNAP cuts could impact vulnerable people in Pee Dee region

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – About  50,000 people across the Grand Strand and Pee Dee rely on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.

Curtis McCutcheon said SNAP benefits helped feed him and his great-grandchildren.

“They help a lot. Sometimes if I don’t have money I can [still] go and get groceries,” said McCutcheon.

Richard Moses, a Regional Manager with SC Thrive a nonprofit that helps people apply for SNAP said the most vulnerable people like children and elderly will suffer most over the next ten years. If the current proposed cuts of $193 billion dollars are approved by Congress.

“It’s going to most likely reduce the amount of funds that each recipient is already eligible. It’s also going to most likely reduce the eligibility, “explained Moses. “That is going to make it that much more of a struggle to make ends meet throughout the month. Then you will have more of a strain on some of the food banks.”

Moses says if the cuts are approved agencies and resources will have to adjust and find other ways to help those in poverty.

According to the January 2017 USDA profile for the SC Congressional District 7:

  • 32% of households with one or more people over 60 years old receive SNAP
  • 50% of households with children under 18 receive SNAP
  • More than half of our population lives below the poverty line

Florence and Darlington State Representative, Terry Alexander said the cut will have a dramatic impact on the Pee Dee region since it is one of the poorest regions in the state. He explained the possible cuts will have a trickle down effect on food providers.

“Our youngest and oldest populations will suffer. But not only will  recipients suffer but those that provide the food that come to their tables [will also.] The farmers, the grocery stores, [and] the truckers. There is a whole litany of people that bring it from the farm to the table,” said Alexander. “Every aspect of food will be effected, those who grow it and eat it.”

Alexander said this is not the first time snap cuts were proposed. He is hopeful the cuts will not be approved.

McCutcheon said even if he has to eat at a soup kitchen or run errands for people. He’ll make sure his family is fed.

“I’m going to eat regardless,” said McCutcheon.