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Food stamp cut hits Ky. county harder than most

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BRETT BARROUQUERE and DYLAN T. LOVAN | January 12, 2014 12:20 PM EST | AP


BOONEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A drop in federal food assistance has struck a county in Kentucky's Appalachian region hard.

About half of Owsley County's 4,700 residents received food stamps in 2011, the last year available. The drop in benefits came as Congress opted not to extend larger benefits that were part of an economic stimulus package passed in 2009.

U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., who represents the area, says the program is needed in eastern Kentucky, but is also badly in need of reforms.

The result means less money to spend each month on food for 47 million Americans — including 900,000 Kentuckians.

Owsley County resident Rosanna Troyer says the drop in food assistance from $367 to $303 meant cutting back on meat purchases and buying more canned goods and macaroni and cheese.