Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sun-Times: Food pantries, soup kitchens brace for more needy families

With the holiday season in full force we've already started talking about charity with a recently posting about donation to an Englewood woman's shelter by an NBA Player. Today I want to share a Sun-Times article about food pantries & soup kitchens:
Bracing for impact.

The phrase may evoke thoughts of a comet or a car careening out of control — something coming.

To operators of local food pantries and soup kitchens in the Chicago area, that something coming is a rush of hungry mouths since a rollback of the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, formerly known as food stamps. The cuts started this month.

“More people need food in Illinois than ever before,” said Kate Maehr, executive director of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, a non-profit group that collects and distributes food to 650 other non-profit organizations that comprise the front lines in the fight against hunger in Cook County, from soup kitchens to food pantries.

The rollback of government aid that had been extended as part of the Recovery Act means, on average, $36 less a month to spend on food for a family of four, leaving that household with about $285 to spend on food, said Maehr, who noted the change may go unnoticed for some, in November, but will hit home in the coming months.

“To a lot of people, $36 a month may not seem like a big amount, but when you are really stretching every penny, it can be the difference between two bags of groceries or not,” said Maehr.
All the more reason to support, some of our local food pantries. We've written about a few that we know about over the years. In fact there were two posts about food pantries here last year. ANd in this article we got wind of another south side food pantry:
Pastor Virgil Jones, founder and CEO of Mother Jones Food Pantry in the West Pullman neighborhood, has been overwhelmed by Thanksgiving requests.

“We only have 50 turkeys, we received about 500 requests,” he said Tuesday.
Well, Thanksgiving is over, but there is still time to give a holiday blessing to those who will need food.

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