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Changes coming to Georgia's food stamp program

10:47 AM, Jun 19, 2012   |    comments
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Volunteers sort and pack donations at the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Community Food Bank is preparing for a big jump in demand for emergency food by many of the 1.8 million Georgians who receive food stamps.

In August, the Georgia Department of Human Services will change the deposit date for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, or SNAP.

"On average, people are going to lose about three days of benefits," said Bill Bolling, founder of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. "I think they're going to be looking to us or our network of agencies, over 2,500 of them, to meet that need."

The change will spread out the window for deposits, from 10 to 18 days, to avoid empty shelves at grocery stores and long check-out lines.

The amount of benefits won't change, but the timing could catch families off-guard.

"We know there are lot of people who won't get the word," Bolling said. "Losing three days of benefits will really stretch them. A lot of people are living day to day now."

To prepare for the transition, Kroger's Atlanta Division plans to donate $150,000 to the Georgia Food Bank Association on Tuesday.

The money will help food banks stock their shelves to fill a temporary gap in benefits.

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