BAKERSFIELD - The House of Representatives has approved deep cuts to the Food Stamp program, which could have a major impact on families in Kern County.
House Republicans say with the cuts, $40 billion will be saved over the next ten years.
House Republicans voted Thursday night. If cuts are made locally, food banks in the county will see more people looking to find their next meal.
Friday was a normal day at Community Action Partnership of Kern, a food bank that distributed more than seven million pounds of food last year.
But, that number may get smaller.
"We will do our best to help out with a gap in service that this will create," said CAPK Community Outreach Specialist Pam Bernhart.
Just like the food bank, thousands of people rely on the Food Stamp program, also known as CalFresh.
But with deep cuts in the future, many people will have to find alternatives.
"I know that Bakersfield is a giving community, and whenever we've said that our pantry's running low, people have always stepped up to the plate. But if this is a long-term crisis, I don't know how long people will be able to step up to the plate," said Bernhart.
In Kern County, 144,653 people use food stamps, as of July of this year.
Statewide, that number is much bigger with four million relying on food stamps.
Bernhart says CAPK is a supplement to the food stamp program and with potential cuts, the food bank will have to re-evaluate business.
"So, instead of coming one time a month like the program says, they're maybe going to need more than once a month. So, we really have to get together and strategize of how we're going to accommodate that," continued Bernhart.
House Republicans said the decision was made because the program was getting too expensive and growing out of control.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, nearly four million people would be removed from the Food Stamp program under the House bill starting next year.