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SNAP cuts will strain local food banks

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Updated: 11/01/2013 8:29 pm
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. --The temporary boost to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, ends today. The cut leaves many families scrambling for ways to put food on the table.

For the St. Johns Ecumenical Ministries Food Pantry, giving away around 500 bags of food per month is not uncommon. But after today, that number may soon rise.

Noel Helmly, who volunteers at the pantry, said he worries they won't have enough volunteers to take care of every family.

"Our food supply is OK but we still can only take care of so many people," said Helmly.

Helmly said many families have already seen cuts in their SNAP accounts. The cuts means a family of three will see a cut of about $29 per month.

President and CEO of Lutheran Social Services, the parent company of Second Harvest, Wayne Rieley said he worries it'll be tough to keep up with the demand.

"It does put a strain on our member agencies and it does put a strain on us trying to go out and source more food," said Rieley.

The St. Johns Ecumenical Ministries Food Pantry gets the majority of their food from Second Harvest. The food bank supplies meals to more than 400 nonprofits in North Florida.

Those nonprofits will soon be leaning heavily on Second Harvest for even more support.

"We've worked on arrangements with retail partners, with food manufacturers, and so forth to get more surplus food in," said Rieley.

According to Rieley, you can help by donating food, volunteering or making a monetary donation.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

nativejax - 11/1/2013 9:39 PM
0 Votes
Don't forget the drugs, booze and smokes. Those 3 things right there come to a heck of a lot more than $29. Oh and the strip joints and cassino's too...It may have taken me 3 years to get a job, but I finally got one...I did not go ask for 'assistance' from the idiots in Washington that has CAUSED this massive cut either. I warned people of this years ago, but guess what folks, the worse is yet to come.

whosaysnocan - 11/1/2013 7:29 PM
0 Votes
Surely a family can cut back on something to come up with a $29 loss to their SNAP. When I see some of the people using this program talking/using Iphones, I have to wonder how they can afford it with what it cost to have the access for it. We cannot afford that. Do they have cable, internet, video game systems, flat screen TV's? Just wondering......
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