Food stamp funding decrease could put added pressure on stressed Middle Georgia food bank
The U.S. Senate rejected a bid to preserve around $4.5 billion in food stamp funding Thursday, as lawmakers in both houses of Congress continue to disagree over a massive farm bill.
While the loss of funding may not be permanent, if it did happen, community assistance program leaders say it would make life a lot harder for themselves and the people they serve.
Middle Georgia Community Food Bank Executive Director Ron Raleigh says his organization has been trying to catch up after making massive shipments this Spring that depleted its food stores.
"Working at the food bank and receiving food, and trying to get food out, has been a little more intense," Raleigh said.
Raleigh says in order to serve the needs of all the non-profit organizations the food bank works with, the warehouse must be between 65% and 68% capacity. He says the warehouse was down to 43% capacity at the beginning of June, and after a massive donation by the Atlanta-based food bank, it currently holds 50% to 60% capacity.
"Between trying to recover from recession, job losses, unemployment numbers, a lot of factors has [sic] increased demand over the summer of food out of the food banks," Raleigh said.
The U.S. Senate's recent rejection of food stamp funding is just one more concern for Raleigh, who says he guesses if the funding isn't restored it could mean a 20% to 30% increase in demand on his food bank.
With 124,629 people in the food bank's nine county distribution area qualifying for assistance Raleigh says it will be tough to feed them all but he's optimistic his team will do the best they can do.
"We're just going to have to find additional food, we're going to have to move additional food through the warehouse to meet that demand," Raleigh said.
Raleigh says another concern people with food stamps should be aware of is the changing deposit date for EBT holders.
The deposit date is being expanded for the month of August. Instead of deposits being made from the 5th through the 14th, they will be made from the 5th through the 23rd.
Fore more information contact the State Department of Human Services at: http://dhs.georgia.gov/portal/site/DHS/