Concerns grow over more cuts to food stamp program - WFLA News Channel 8

Concerns grow over more cuts to food stamp program

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Local food banks are worried about how cuts to the "SNAP" food stamp program could impact people in need. Local food banks are worried about how cuts to the "SNAP" food stamp program could impact people in need.
Local food banks are worried about how cuts to the "SNAP" food stamp program could impact people in need. Local food banks are worried about how cuts to the "SNAP" food stamp program could impact people in need.

The line outside Saint David's Episcopal Church is long, as people come there for food handouts.

Gertrude Effinger is among those people. "This program helps me a lot, it helps a lot of people that need the help," said the elderly woman from Lakeland.

Effinger is not alone. More than a thousand people have come here for help this week alone.

But, the growing demand is stretching the limits of this private effort. Jane Hammond of Elderpoint Ministries runs the food pantry at Saint David's.

"At some point we may have to put a limit on how many people we can serve during the days that would be hard thing for our volunteers and for us," said Hammond.

U.S. Representative Kathy Castor has heard a lot lately about how proposed cuts to the "SNAP" (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) food stamp program would affect people in her district, cuts she opposes.

Rep. Castor added, "It is going to cause misery here if they stick with that but we are not going to let that happen we are going to try to fight to defeat them from going to far."

As the congresswoman toured the Feed America Tampa Bay warehouse, the executive director expressed growing concerns about trying to make up the difference if there's a huge cut in the food stamp program.

"There is only so much that the non-profit community can do, the gap will become far too great, and if it happens to fast there would be a lot of people who could fall thru the cracks very quickly," said Thomas Mantz.

If Gertrude Effinger had a say, she'd have a word or two for all the members of congress.

Effinger added, "I would tell them they are bunch of fools for cutting the food stamp program because its not fair to the people that needs it."

Opponents of the cuts if they are enacted, it could amount 8 billion fewer meals for needy Americans each year.

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