Commonwealth Journal

Local News

October 24, 2013

God’s Food Pantry facing bleak holidays with dwindling donations, food stamp cuts

Somerset —

If food stamp recipients get a cut in allotments next month, as predicted, and shelves at God’s Food Pantry remain bare, a lot of people in Pulaski County will go hungry this holiday season, predicted Mike Hornback, vice president of God’s Food Pantry.
“It’s looking like a bleak season for our patrons,” added Jack Keeney, executive director of the Pantry. “Maybe Thanksgiving and Christmas are fast approaching and everyone is so busy that giving has been forgotten,” Keeney suggested.
Both officials said the Pantry is struggling to have enough food for regular monthly customers, let alone trying to plan for holiday baskets. 
“Unless the situation changes quickly, we will not be able to give holiday baskets this year,” Keeney said. “We need food,” Keeney pleaded. “Only a skimpy supply is on shelves and the warehouse is about empty.”
“Demand for food is up and donations are down,” continued Keeney. “That is about as simple as I can put it.”
“We have had more than 1,000 new clients sign up for food this calendar year,” said Keeney. “Our total number of active clients as of October 1 was more than 7,000.” 
The numbers will jump when food stamps are cut.
According to reports, recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps) benefits will see a 5 to 6 percent cut in their benefits the first of November. A household of three will receive $29 less in monthly benefits and a household of four will receive $36 less.
“Can you help?” Keeney pleaded. “We need food. We need donations to purchase food!”
Hornback encouraged people with a giving spirit to contact God’s Food Pantry at 679-8560. “Help us make the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons bright.”
 

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