Genesee County residents turn to pantries amidst SNAP cuts
Fri, 24 Jan 2014 22:36:58 GMT —
The frigid temperatures and a stalled piece of legislation are putting an extra burden on residents and local non profits.
During a typically slow period, Flint soup kitchens and warming centers are bustling with activity.
"We're busier not only with the food but we're passing out hats, gloves scarves and blankets like crazy. We can't keep them in stock," said Jon Manse of Catholic Charities.
A frigid January is leading dozens of extra people to seek warmth and a hot meal.
"All these places got stuff you can go get. They're good places," said Flint resident, Kelly Moore.
The added strain to soup kitchens is a result of single digits and a population with less money to spend.
Annie Alexander depends on food stamps to feed her and her family.
Federal cuts have affected her and more than 100,000 other Genesee County residents.
"Just $20 less but I was actually using it all," said Alexander.
Congress has yet to pass a Farm Bill.
Lawmakers are back in session next week.
"Everyone's waiting to see what happens now because they're already stretched very thin," said Terri Stangl, of the Center for Civil Justice.
"If my kid gets sick I have to shuffle around because that's something I don't have in my budget," said Flint mother, Lalanea Boone.
As area residents make concessions the organizations providing help are doing the same.
"We're down to powdered milk because we don't have the money to go buy regular milk," said Manse.
Catholic Charities is in need of any extra donations during this busy time including blankets, coats and gloves.
Meantime, congress is back in session next week.
Passing a Farm Bill is said to be a top priority.
Congressman Dan Kildee tells us lawmakers may try to pass the Farm Bill and Emergency Unemployment as a package deal.