Nightly News   |  November 01, 2013

Families burdened by food stamp cuts

Those who rely on food stamps will have less money to put food on the table now that a $5 billion supplement to the program has expired. NBC’s Mike Taibbi reports.

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>>> another big story affecting tens of millions of americans who rely on food stamps to feed their families. as of today they have to get by on less. about 5% less because a special part-time recession boost to the food stamp program has expired. nearly 48 million people, a lot of them working people , in this country receive food stamps . that's one in seven americans . one in four american children. in our continuing coverage of poverty in america we call "in plain sight" mike taibbi has the report tonight from central california .

>> reporter: for connie rhoads, a wiechfe and mother of three, now laid off, relying on food stamps has been tough enough.

>> it's really hard to tell them, no, you can't have that food item or you can want have that necessity for living. because i don't have the money to buy it for you.

>> reporter: now it gets harder. the cut in federal food stamp funding will hit home in places like vical irgs a with unemployment stuck at 15% and under employment in seasonal agricultural work making food stamps a necessity. broken down, the cuts don't sound like much. $11 a month for an individual, $36 for a family of four. here's one view of what $36 buys at the local food pantry. here's another way to look at it. suppose for your family of four you will cook a chicken. this one is big enough for leftovers, a can of peas and pasta. nothing fancy. four meals for $8. if you're a family that relies on food stamps that $36 cut translates to 16 to 20 meals. that has joe blackburn, a single father of four whose medical issues cost him his corrections officer job already making painful decisions.

>> i couldn't buy them halloween candy this year. i couldn't afford it.

>> reporter: daisy's two kids don't know their single mom is thinking of selling her old car and fiengd another way to get to her part-time job as a store clerk.

>> i barely have enough to feed my kids and pay the bills.

>> when a child goes hungry, i mean -- what kind of country allow as child to go hungry?

>> reporter: the safety net for tens of millions of americans , a little less secure. mike taibbi ,