A temporary increase in food stamps expires Friday. For millions of Americans, the benefits that help put food on the table won't stretch as far as they have for the past four years.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps 47 million Americans a month, almost half of them children and teenagers. About 15 percent of the U.S. population receives assistance, up from 8.7 percent in 2007.
The monthly benefits fluctuate based on factors including food prices, income and inflation. The average benefit per person now stands at a little over $133 each month. On Friday, that amount will be reduced. In total, the cuts add up to $5 billion.
Families and providers worry the expiration of the stimulus bump comes at a particularly bad time. Congress can halt the decision, but it is unlikely.