Food stamp cuts putting extra burden on Montgomery County Food Bank

More than 36,000 people in Montgomery Co. will be affected by food stamp cuts, and 22,000 of those are children and seniors
November 17, 2013 8:46:34 PM PST
Last month, the Montgomery County Food Bank set a record for number of people served -- more than 47,000. Now as the federal government chips away at SNAP benefits, also known as food stamps, the food bank will be left with more people to feed and less money to with which to do it.

More than 36,000 people in Montgomery County will be affected by SNAP cuts, and 22,000 of those are children and senior citizens.

"At the food bank, we're able to supply them with the food they need for the majority of the meals, but that extra money -- that $50, $100 a month they were getting from the federal government -- helps them get the rest of the way."

Sean-Michael Hazuda with the Montgomery County Food Bank says the federal government is cutting approximately $4.4 million in SNAP benefits over next 12 months.

"Which, when translated into meals, is over 1.6 million meals," he said.

In 2012, the food bank served 5.2 million meals. Do the math, and...

"The food bank's going to have to make up for that. We're going to see about a 30 percent increase in demand," Hazuda said.

Hazuda says the majority of their clients -- 94 percent -- are not homeless. They're hard working people who relied on food stamps to get them the rest of the way. If they don't cover these "lost meals," every fourth day many of their clients will go hungry.

"So we really need the community to help us out and fund this great effort that we're doing," Hazuda said.

The Montgomery County Food Bank is trying to raise $350,000 in November and December to feed 80,000 people for the holidays. To help, visit www.mcfoodbank.org.

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