COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Nearly 50 million people across the country receive food stamps, and starting Friday they’ll see cuts to those benefits.
664,000 of them live in Mississippi. Not only will the changes impact these recipients, but those who are selling them their food.
Food stamp cuts are affecting more than 3,400 authorized retailers in Mississippi, and stores like the Columbus Food Giant are no exception.
“Anywhere from 45 to 50 percent of our sales are contributed through the SNAP program,” said store manager Terry Brownlee.
These cuts mean less money coming into his store, and other local businesses.
The Mississippi Economic Policy Center says now a family of three will get $29 less a month.
“It’s going to present an issue with them on what they buy,” Brownlee said. “Of course they’re going to have to be more aggressive in the way they do things and control what they spend a little bit wiser.”
Now because of the recent changes, Brownlee says they’re working on cutting prices on some of the essential items like milk and bread, but they can only do so much.
“Milk prices kind’ve fluctuate from week to week, so you have to go basically by what they’re charging you to sell it.”
Brownlee says they want to help their customers, but they still have to make ends meet.
“You have to make a profit, or you can’t stay here long,” he said.
As for how the cut in spending will impact his store long term, Brownlee says that’s something they have to evaluate in the days ahead.