Posted on November 4, 2013 at 10:06 AM
CHARLOTTE, NC – Families count on every penny they get from the federal food stamp program, changes to the program mean reductions in household budgets, but not many are like the one found in west Charlotte.
We are digging for answers for a single mother who's dealing with the tremendous challenge.
It is lunchtime at Sara Grier's house. Ramen noodles for all four kids.
“At this point I don’t know what were going to do,” she says after receiving a notice that she will only get $16 a month in food stamps from now on. She was receiving more than $500.
The single mom is dealing with cuts to the food stamps program that went into effect nationally on Friday. Most people face a five percent cut, but for some reason -- Sara’s is much more dramatic.
“I never thought that it would hit my home,” she says.
'Hit' is an understatement.
Sara, a single mom, works hard at the only job she could find.
She’s paid $11 dollars an hour, 30 hours a week, totaling $17,000 a year.
Her 11-year-old daughter India says,
“Since this happened the amount of food we get has gone down, but we still get fed -- and I'm happy for that.”
Most food stamp recipients face five percent cuts.
Sara has always been a smart shopper.
She goes to Food Lion early every morning to buy meat that’s on sale. The kids get a specific number of chicken nuggets, and the Kool-Aid gets a little more water in the mix.
Even the cereal is specifically divvied up, only half a bowl for each child.
The kids know mom is struggling.
“With my kids, they know what’s going on with Mommy. They notice a difference from us going to the grocery store,” she said.
So they're pitching in.
“We get a big bag of chicken nuggets and then divide it into five little Ziploc bags and that’s what we have for lunch,” India explains.
But it's not easy.
“In a house for a single mom, grocery money is also the light bill, it’s the rent, it’s gas so they can get to games,” Sara says.
As soon as news crews left the Grier's house we started making calls, trying to get her some answers.
The state was shocked when we told them what we found and referred us to Mecklenburg County. A spokesman for the county promises they're trying to figure out what happened.