Mike Conaway

Food stamp program faces uncertain future as power shifts in Washington

Food stamp program faces uncertain future as power shifts in Washington

After the storms of April 2013 flooded Illinois rivers, destroying homes and businesses throughout the Chicago area, more than $21 million in temporary food stamp benefits flowed into the state.

Those short-term food stamp benefits helped feed more than 50,000 people in Illinois for 30 days, according to federal data — emergency help that went beyond the support already provided by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, for more than 2 million people at the time in Illinois.

"They had nowhere to live. They had to start from scratch again, and all they had was their SNAP benefits," said Anita Alvarado, assistant director of Respond Now, a food...

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