Redmond family reacts to food stamp cuts

Temporary boost to federal program ends, affecting millions

Food stamp cuts hit home for Redmond family

REDMOND, Ore. - Kimberlee Williams of Redmond is trying to feed a family of four on $430 a month in food stamps.

"Our money would be gone after we paid electric and TV bills. We had nothing, so it helped," Williams said Friday.

She and her husband both have jobs, but they're barely scraping by to provide for their two kids.

"Our freezer is empty right now, and it's not even time for our food stamps until the 4th," she said.

A freezer normally packed with food to feed her kids is empty -- a harsh reality that's about to get colder.

A federal program that increased food stamp benefits four years ago expires Friday.

"It makes me want to cry, because I feel like I can't provide for my children because it's cut," Williams said.

The Williams' benefits were cut by $36, forcing them to adjust.

"We're not going to be able to get certain things this month, there's no way. No extra stuff this month," Williams said.

That $36 may not seem like much money, but for the Williams family, that's the equivalent of a dozen meals.

"We're just going to have to cut some stuff out -- that's all there is to it," she said.

Kimberlee's family is just one of the more than 800,000 in Oregon affected by the cuts. Those cuts reduce the snap benefits statewide by $84 million.

"I feel bad for the other people, because if it's hard for me, it's hard for somebody else," Williams said.

The Williams family says they hope to one day be food stamp-free. But for now, the fight to put food on the table gets a little tougher.

"We've been making it work, so we will make it work this month. It's just going to be harder," Williams said.

Negotiations on a new bill, including cuts to the snap program, began Wednesday. Five-year farm bills passed by both the house and Senate would cut food stamps even more. But the two chambers have yet to agree on an amount.

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