Between the cold weather snap, and the cuts in the SNAP food stamp program nationwide, food pantries are pleading for more donations as cupboards run dry. As the cold weather and snow sets in, heating bills soar, leaving less cash for struggling families to buy groceries and make ends meet, according to NPR.
Feeding America, an anti-hunger organization said that it’s actually a lot harder for rural and isolated communities in America to feed their communities. In New York there are shelters and food pantries in every neighborhood. But in somewhere like Central Florida, where a food pantry told Feeding America that requests in the past month alone have doubled, and they can’t keep up.
“A bad situation has just gotten worse,” Feeding America spokesperson Ross Fraser told The Daily Meal. “We anticipate that many low-income people will have difficulty paying significantly higher heating bills this winter, and the impact of the latest cuts to the SNAP program will start being seen down the road.”
Over the next decade $9 billion will be slashed from the SNAP program, and in a recent report, Feeding America found that 40 percent of the people they serve will have to choose between paying utility bills and feeding their families.
“In New York City, 85% of the food pantries and soup kitchens in Food Bank For New York City’s network saw more people on their lines after the November SNAP cuts than they saw in the immediate aftermath of Super Storm Sandy,” said Margarette Purvis, President and CEO of Food Bank. “Charity simply cannot make up for these cuts.”