The farm bill Congress passed earlier this year was meant to help save over $8 billion in costs from food stamp programs, but now some states are finding ways to still get those benefits to the people that need them.
The program is called "heat and eat". If participating states gave as little as a dollar in heating assistance to families, they could qualify for food stamps. The last farm bill tried to get rid of that by making the required heating assistance $20, hoping that would be too much for states to provide.
However, six states have already announced that they will raise the heating benefits so that the government will still have to give food stamps. A local executive assistant of a food bank, Cindy Masturzo, said West Virginia doesn't have a program like that as far as she knows, but the cuts are causing some strain in the area.
"We've just been writing more food vouchers for our local food pantries and referring more people to the local food pantries in Marion County because of the cuts," Masturzo said.
Many anti-hunger advocates said that the farm bill should have boosted benefits, not cut them.