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SNAP Cuts now in effect. Local food pantries are speaking out.
ALBANY -- As of Friday, those on a tight budget will have to stretch it even further. That's because SNAP benefits, or food stamps, have been cut.
Local food pantries are feeling the pressure to make up for the difference.
"We can just see our line stretching down Madison Avenue which is unfortunate," says Angela Warner, a volunteer with St. Vincents de Paul's food pantry.
The Church of Saint Vincent De Paul in Albany is trying to fill empty spaces on their shelves. They say expecting the average SNAP recipient to stretch their budget to $1.40 a meal is nearly impossible, and will just mean folks will visit their location more often.
Resources they're struggling to provide.
"We're able to provide 12 to 15 meals to our guests who come to visit. so they come once a month, that's 4 days, 5 days of food for them. so they are going to have to figure out a way, somehow, to stretch the meals that we give them to make up for the difference, or we will see them coming back asking for more food," Warner says.
Five years ago this food pantry was seeing 8000 people per year, that number has increased to 11 thousand per year, and now with these new SNAP cuts, they're going to need to see 20 percent more food on their shelves to help meet that demand.
"If you look around our food pantry you see that our shelves are pretty bare, and that is because first of all we had over 1000 guests this month, and second of all because we only got two deliveries of food, and it's not being able to meet all of the need for the people who visit our food pantry," Warner says.
The 332-million dollar "cut" to the federal snap program impacts nearly 3 point 2 million people in the state, who receive the benefits, which is also about 16-percent, of New York's population.
So food pantries are relying on monetary donations to make up for those cuts, to help feed those who simply can't afford another financial blow.