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State

More than 2 million in Illinois to see food stamps cut

CHICAGO – More than 2 million low-income Illinois residents who receive food stamps will soon see their benefits cut.

Beginning Friday, a temporary increase in food stamp dollars from the 2009 economic stimulus will expire.

The change will affect more than 47 million Americans. It comes as Congress is negotiating additional cuts to the program, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

The Illinois Hunger Coalition says about 349,000 seniors and 886,000 children statewide will be affected.

Executive Director Diane Doherty says the benefits have provided "an important stepping stone" for struggling families.

Benefits vary based on income and other factors. The Agriculture Department says the cuts will mean a family of four will receive $36 less per month.

Nationally, the program has more than doubled in cost since 2008.

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