FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Fort Worth food pantries are concerned major budget cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, may increase their already difficult burden.
At the Northside Inter-Church Agency Food Pantry in Fort Worth, the shelves are bare.
“We try to keep a three month reserve,” said Executive Director, Connie Nahoolewa. “We have nothing in reserve.”
And food for struggling families may soon become even more scarce if Congress moves forward with drastic cuts to SNAP.
“If funds are cut from the SNAP program that is going to put a tremendous pressure on all the hunger relief agencies in this area and around the country,” said Andrea Helms, communications director for the Tarrant Area Food Bank. “Those people aren’t going to have any other place to turn but the emergency food pantries.”
But food pantries themselves are struggling, too and for the same reason: dwindling budgets.
At NICA, Nahoolewa plans to put more resources into classes to teach families to grow gardens, raise chickens and even goats so they can rely less on grocery stores and food banks.
More than 3.9 million Texans utilize SNAP, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Until then, food banks and agencies are hoping Congress will delay cuts to a program that feeds so many.