MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - In the wake of Saturday’s EBT shutdown, millions across the nation were denied benefits when it came to buying their groceries and feeding their families. While the problem was fixed, another shutdown of sorts is still expected at the end of the month.
“There’s a big need…and it hasn’t gone away,” said Don Rose, Associate Director for Operations of the Bay Area Food Bank.
That need is for those in need.
“The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program called SNAP, replaced food stamps, and part of the American Recovery Reinvestment Act stimulus in 2009 boosted SNAP benefits, boosted eligibility, and boosted the amount for families,” said Rose.
When SNAP was implemented, it was intended to last through 2018. Now…
“Unfortunately, some other legislation came and those boosts in benefits is going to stop at the end of this month. The average family of four is going to get a reduction of about $36 a month in the average $500 a month SNAP benefit that they’ve been seeing,” said Rose.
The Bay Area Food Bank serves 24 counties across the Gulf Coast from Mississippi to Florida from its 40,000 square foot warehouse in Theodore, and other pantries and kitchens.
Rose said when these benefits are taken away…
“They will continue to struggle like they do everyday to pay those bills. But the food bank, our pantries, and our kitchens are going to continue to be there. We’d like continued help from our supporters to continue to support this need in the community,” said Rose.
Across town at Wings of Life, Kitchen Director William Curry feeds residents and homeless people everyday a cause he said is growing.
“I’m already receiving calls from the community saying that these families are in need. And I see that need is increasing…and it’s such a blessing to see families and children come in on a daily basis and be able to receive a hot meal and enjoy a hot meal when otherwise they wouldn’t be able to,” said Curry.
With a limited amount of food on hand, pantries like those at Wings of Life are at risk of having less food in the weeks and months to come due to the increase in mouths to feed.
“This shutdown of the food stamps plus the 31st, if that was to happen, it would be a huge crisis and I think we really do need to prepare,” said Curry.
If you would like to donate to the Bay Area Food Bank, click here. http://www.bayareafoodbank.org/
If you would like to donate to Wings of Life, click here. http://www.wings-of-life.com/
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