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
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.