According to representatives of the Mississippi Economic Policy Center, an estimated 664,000 Mississippians wake up this morning without as many food assistance benefits.
A temporary boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program, or SNAP, is set to expire. And that will mean millions of parents across the country will have less money to feed their children.
That temporary boost was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The extra benefit became something Monique Dove relied on. Dove is a single mother of four children, all under the age of 10. She said it's tough to providing for her three boys and one girl. "When it gets close to the end of the month before I get my snaps again and the food is running low, I'm like you know panicking," said Dove.
Dove works full time. Despite a weekly salary and the family's SNAP benefits, she barely has enough money to put food on the table. Now, Dove, and millions of other people just like her, must face a new reality. SNAP benefits will be cut by more than $400 a year. It may not seem like much. But, when you're Monique Dove, and you already struggle buying enough food to feed your children, she knows, "It's going to be hard."
Nationwide, the rollback in the SNAP benefits will affect about 41 million Americans.
For the Dove family this means a reduction of about $40 a month. "That little cut, those boys, they can eat," said Dove.
Jessica Shappley with the Mississippi Economic Policy Center says Monique Dove is not alone. "Making cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program means the neediest families in Mississippi will have less food on their tables. These benefits are a lifeline to so many working parents, children who need a healthy start before school and small businesses across the state that help local economies," said Shappley.
But, Dove feels confident God will provide for her family. She worries about others. "It breaks my heart because there are some kids out there who don't eat," said Dove.