Food Bank of Eastern Michigan prepared to help more people if SNAP benefits are cut

FLINT (WJRT) - (12/08/2019) - Mid-Michigan families who rely on government food assistance could be in jeopardy. The money that helps to make sure they don't go hungry could run out by the end of this month.

"It's pretty sad because there's a lot people who are hungry already," Darcy Vaughn said. She goes to the H.I.S Ministries food pantry in Flint every month.

"I come because I need to come, I need the extra food."

Vaughn receives SNAP benefits. She said she only has a three-month period she can get them and she is on her last month.

"I just have to find these resources because they are out there."

The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan is one of those resources that distributes food to over 100 agencies in Genesee County. It receives 130 SNAP applications per month.

"People depend on it, and there's so many people working two jobs to make ends meet and they're not making it," Trina Balow said. She is the
outreach manager for the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.

She said if benefits are cut, children will be affected the most.

"There's a lot of people living below the poverty line and 76 percent of those are children so those who are affected the most are children, older adults and disabled individuals."

The food bank is prepared for the rush of people if the shutdown continues. However, if its food falls short, it will need help from the community.

"The food bank is here to help them with food, the basic necessities but if our food is depleted more quickly, we are going to rely on more donations, more businesses to step up and to make those donations."

As for Vaughn, she said she will do her best to get by if SNAP benefits go away. She is more concerned for the younger mothers.

"I think they will be really scared, because that's the scary thing, when you have small children, it's not like you can go out and go to work, whose going to watch your kids, child care is a big program," Vaughn said.

Balow said if you are someone currently in need of food or could lose your SNAP benefits, you can reach out to the local agencies. There are over 100 in Genesee County.

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