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(Little Rock) – Arkansas food banks say they are preparing for increased demand that’s expected following a cut to the federal food stamp program.

Arkansas Rice Depot CEO Laura Rhea said this week that the organization can’t meet its present demand and the cuts will worsen the situation.

18 percent of Arkansans receive food stamps. Congress is cutting $5 billion nationwide from the program. That translates to a reduction of $36 per month for a family of four.

Some food banks are already giving families less food so they can stretch their supplies. Others have reduced the hours they are open.

Demand for food stamps has risen nationally due to the economy. Nationwide, 47 million Americans are having their food stamps reduced.

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