CUTS START: More than 47 million Americans who receive food stamps will see their benefits go down starting Friday, just as Congress begins negotiations on further cuts to the program.
THE DETAILS: Beginning in November, a temporary benefit from the 2009 economic stimulus that boosts food stamp dollars will no longer be available. According to the Agriculture Department, that means a family of four receiving food stamps will start receiving $36 less a month.
HOW IT'S FIGURED: The benefits, which go to 1 in 7 Americans, fluctuate based on factors that include food prices, inflation and income. The rolls have swelled as the economy has struggled in recent years.