Local News

Oct 31, 2013 7:55 PM

Food Bank Expects More Visitors with Food Stamp Cuts

CORPUS CHRISTI -- The Food Bank of Corpus Christi knows that people for people who rely on food stamps, budgeting until the end of the month can be a challenge.

So when federal cuts to the food stamp program kick in tomorrow, it could really hurt.

Bea Hanson, the food bank's executive director, estimates she will be seeing more people earlier in the month.

"That has to have an effect on people that are already living on a very tight budget. They already come to us at the end of the month when you know that the food stamps have been used up."

Food stamps will be slashed by 5 percent; which averages to about $36 dollars less per family, per month.

And about 85 percent of the people that utilize the Food Bank of Corpus Christi use food stamps.

Hanson fears that families who are struggling already will have to make some tough choices.

"When you have to pay the rent, you have to pay the electricity, and you can't do without that--the one thing you're going to let go of is the food, unfortunately."

The food bank offers free assistance to get people signed up for SNAP, the statewide food stamp program.

Helen Escamilla, who works as an outreach coordinator, has heard from a few concerned clients who say the timing couldn't be worse.

"They're worried about it, especially with the holidays coming up," Escamilla said. "We have Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up. That's usually when they do the big buys--the turkey, and stuffing, and all the pluses that go with the holiday meals."

Some food stamp recipients were notified of the changes by mail, but employees fear that a lot of people still don't know they'll be getting less money.

They expect to field a lot of phone calls starting tomorrow.

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