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Need for SNAP Benefits

Local people say there's still a need for SNAP benefits.
CRESSON, CAMBRIA COUNTY - SNAP benefits officially decreased for people across the country.

In our area alone this will hit almost a hundred thousand people. There are more than 22,000 people getting SNAP benefits in Cambria County. In Blair there are almost 21,000. In Clearfield County there are more than 13,000, and in Somerset there are almost ten thousand.

Friday federal stimulus package dollars that were contributing to SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, expired. And billions of dollars were cut from the program.

The news caused a big debate on our Facebook page, with thousands of people watching the argument. There were hundreds of posts. But most people didn't want to talk about it on camera.

Senator Bob Casey is proposing legislation that would keep those cuts from happening for another year. That would give lawmakers more time to decide what to do with the program. He says now is not the time for cuts to a program like this, because many people are still without jobs and they need help with food bills more than ever. Casey says the bill will be tough to pass. But he thinks it can happen.

Many experts think this will send more people to food banks. Meanwhile, local lawmakers and businesses are working together to stock them. State Representatives Frank Burns and Gary Haluska partnered with the Dorothy Day Project at Saint Francis University.

James Drug Store in Cresson is one of the collection sites. Owner Donald Della says with it being colder out and unemployment being up, people need help, and they're glad to be a part of it.
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