Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- 47 million of Americans will have fewer dollars to spend on food with cuts to the federal food stamp program taking effect Friday.
"We do anticipate an increase," said Harvest Hope Food Bank CEO Denise Holland.
She says she has followed the federal legislation that led to cuts of the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program.
The changes mean a family of four would receive about $36 fewer dollars from about $668 dollars a month in benefits.
According to the South Carolina Department of Social Services, from July to September this year, the state averaged more than 417,000 families receiving SNAP benefits. That amounts to more than $346 million in assistance.
Holland says this type of policy change usually leads to more people needing help.
"This is a busy time of year anyway with the holidays coming up," said Holland.
She says they are working to prepare for the changes by seeking donations of food and money, but they also offer clients information about resources in the community that could help them get back on their feet.
J. T. McLawhorn, President and CEO of the Columbia Urban League says his organization, like others, offer sessions on budgeting, which could prove useful for those working with less financially.
"Budgeting is much broader than when we talk about just food. Budgeting incorporates your whole way of living, your whole lifestyle. People need budgeting when they buy clothing and folks gotta know how to shop the discounts, when is the best time to shop for the sales," he said.
While those shopping skills are useful, McLawhorn says a budget is not the final solution for everyone, and that is where the community comes in.
"It's important for the community to help others to support those organizations, the food bank and other places, that provide resources to help people who need help and so I think that's how we're gonna have a win-win situation," said McLawhorn.
If you would like to know more about the programs offered by the Columbia Urban League at 803-799-8150.