Food Stamp Program Changing

Tennesseans who rely on what used to be called food stamps will have to wait longer than usual for their benefits next month. The change came at the request of grocery stores. In all, more than 1-point-3 million individuals now get those benefits, and all of that money is made available in the first 10 days of the month. Grocery stores say they get hit with too much business into too few days. They asked the state to stretch out its schedule, by staggering the benefit payouts over a period of time that’s twice as long. Starting next month, the stores will get their way, but what’s good news for grocery stores will mean a difficult October for most people who get that assistance. The reworking of the schedule means that more than two-thirds will have to wait anywhere from 4 days to a week and a half longer than they’re used to. In response to the potential problem, the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association is recommending its members build up contributions to food banks now.