Local Impacts of National SNAP Cuts - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Local Impacts of National SNAP Cuts

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The line at St. Vincent's Food Pantry in Reno was out the door Friday morning. And officials there expect that to be the case for most of the month of November.

"They run out of food and really need it at the beginning of the month," says Scott Cooksley who manages the pantry. "We are serving about 210 people a day and we expect that to go up to at least 240 a day with the cuts in place. And that began today."

He's referring to the federal cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, that used to be known as Food Stamps. The temporary increase recipients got in 2009 as part of the stimulus plan has run out. That means a $36 a month cut for a family of four. And that means that pantries like this will try to offer those in need more than a week's worth of food a month. It also means that people in need will visit more than one pantry to make ends meet.

The Food Bank of Northern Nevada distributes to all of the pantries in the area.

"For those we serve in this area this cut will affect approximately 62,500 people a month in northern Nevada," says Jocelyn Lantrip with the Food Bank. "In the first month, northern Nevada will see $500,000 in cuts which will equal about 228,000 lost meals."

The Food Bank of Northern Nevada distributed 13-million pounds of food last year. And they say while they will try to increase donations and the amounts of food they have to distribute, they are concerned about cuts the House of Representatives is considering in the Farm Bill could mean they will have to double their intake just to stay status quo.

"I'm not saying we can't up our intake, I'm just saying it seems impossible to think that we can all double what we do to keep afloat," Lantrip says. "There is a breaking point and while we aren't there yet, we know we could hit it."

In the meantime she says the Food Bank of Northern Nevada is accepting help in the form of volunteers sorting food, food donations, and cash.

Written by Erin Breen 

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