Hunger Games: Philly food pantries in trouble

SNAP, Philly food pantries, Philabundance
Local food pantries might have a hard time keeping shelves stocked with food when SNAP benefits are cut.

 

SNAP benefits cut Nov. 1

 

The $45 billion-plus increase to the supplemental nutrition assistance program, or SNAP, as a result of 2009′s stimulus package will be cut Nov. 1. The move will leave a huge gap for low-income families who rely on food stamps and groups like Philadelphia’s Philabundance wondering how food pantries will fare in just a week.

Bill Clark, Philabundance president, is worried that a lot of families don’t even know this is on the horizon.

“I’m guessing it’s going to come as quite a shock,” Clark said. “When it happens, their budget is going to see a hit and generally, we believe that SNAP benefits aren’t enough to take someone through the month anyway.”

Philabundance is doing all they can to stock the shelves while partnering with major players in town for food drives and collecting money to buy food. Stock nearly clears out at the end of each month and with the cuts coming during the same month as Thanksgiving, the holiday could be especially hard for some families.

Typically, Philabundance would collect food through drives to last them into the next season. When the recession hit, the group tripled the amount of food collected. They still ran out.

“Even though it’s tripled, we can’t keep up with the demand,” Clark said.

One would think the holidays are the biggest time of the year for food pantries but “there’s a seasonality to it,” Clark explained.

Food drives are held all year with much giving happening in November and December. One of the biggest local fundraisers is WMMR’s “Camp Out For Hunger” collection. But the peak season is in May and June, when kids stop getting breakfast and lunches at school.

“So much of our demand is driven by children,” Clark said.

 

Food for thought

 

According to reports, the 2009 jump for an average household of four went from $588 a month to $668 a month. After Nov. 1, reports say the average family could see a five-percent cut. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, that comes to less than $1.40 per person, per meal for the next fiscal year. Clark estimates about a $40 a month hit to the average family who seeks food assistance.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…