BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Changes are coming for millions of Americans who rely on help from the government.
As many as one out of seven Americans are using food stamps, which is now known the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Congress made more nutrition benefits available as a result of the economic stimulus package, passed in 2009. Now those benefits are being cut back.
Due to federal budget cuts, when people come to the Broadway Market on Friday, the first of the month, they will find that their benefits under SNAP have been cut substantially.
Elaine Pasternak is assistant manager at Camellia's Meats. About 60- to 70-percent of their Broadway Market customers use SNAP benefits for their food purchases. The shop owners here are bracing for the impact of the benefit cuts.
"I don't think it's right to cut for them to cut back if they need to feed their families," Pasternak said. "If they do that, I think it will take away some money from our customers, and it will probably hurt us a little bit, but hopefully not."
SNAP is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the cuts came about when Congress could not reach a deal on a Farm Bill, which raised the nutrition benefits as part of the economic stimulus package back in 2009.
Those higher benefits end on Friday, November 1. For a family of four it will mean $36 fewer to spend on food, and for some, additional time at the food pantry.
Volunteer Emily Weikert said, "That's two solid days worth of food, eating into their food budget, and it's going to mean that there are going to be more visits to pantries, and other places for food assistance."
Senator Charles Schumer says a resolution to the Farm Bill issue could come soon, because until something changes, farmers will also be suffering.
Hundreds of workers, politicians and residents of Chautauqua County rallied in Dunkirk calling on state regulators to approve plans for NRG to convert and reopen a power plant.
Buffalo police homicide detectives have identified an Eggertsville man who was shot and killed early Saturday morning.
Seventy-two years after the attack that launched the US into World War II, Western New Yorkers remembered the fatal day at Pearl Harbor Hawaii.
Volunteers at Buffalo’s Salvation Army created holiday cards and gift bags for the seniors at the Golden Age Center.
Buffalo Police have arrested 26-year-old Nicholas Finnegan of South Buffalo and charged him with pushing Russ Ross to his death.
The abandoned puppy in the Town of Evans was actually turned in by the dog's owner.