Millions of people are in for a shock at the end of the week when their food stamp benefits will be cut across the board.

There is little chance that Congress will act to avert what hunger activists call the “food stamp cliff” — a cut to benefits that will affect some 47 million beneficiaries, including children and the elderly.

The cut takes effect on Nov. 1, and will bring an end to a funding increase that Democrats wrapped into President Obama’s 2009 stimulus law.

For a family of four, the cut will be $36 per month, or about 20 meals under the Department of Agriculture’s estimate for the cost of a “thrifty meal.” Single adults will see their monthly benefits reduced to $189 per month, for a cut of $11.