Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Millions could struggle to put food on their tables if the federal government goes through with planned cuts to food stamp benefits.
The SNAP program is scheduled to be scaled back on Nov. 1 and local food pantries are bracing for an increase in families, who are trying to make ends meet.
Tieasha Muhammad uses the SNAP program, or food stamps, to help feed her family.
“I've had a lot of health problems and I have to cook a certain way, a lot of fresh produce and its very expensive and now with the cutbacks it’s going to be even tighter,” Muhammad said.
Muhammad says she already has to stretch her budget, which is why she visits the Salvation Army food pantry.
The agency feeds more than 1,000 families a month and that number is expected to rise come November.
"We continue to see, and have seen for the past few years, an increase in people showing up here so I think they're stretching what they gave them in 2010 and they are still needing to come here,” said Liddy Hintz, with the Salvation Army.
How big of an impact this has depends on individual situations, but the average family of four will see benefits cut $36 a month.
People who depend on the help are hoping lawmakers will think twice before cutting a critical benefit.
"They don't have to go through that, they have a full fridge at home. They’re looking at numbers, they’re not looking at people - and that's how I feel - they aren’t in the homes talking to the families, the children and looking also at the price of food,” Hintz said.
Washington boosted food stamp benefits years ago to help those struggling get through the recession.
The cuts would reportedly bring assistance back down to level it was at before the economy tanked.