From the Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry

by , Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry logo

Let me tell you a few stories about the folks who arrive at the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry needing assistance so they won’t go hungry…

Alice arrived about six weeks ago.
She called the Church because she was in Emergency Need of food. Our line is always open for these folks. She is elderly with a small amount of social security income and a home of her own. She can no longer meet her basic needs. My heart hurts for the elderly folks we see. They have held jobs, are now retired, and can no longer meet their basic needs. She was overjoyed at the help she received from us in applying SNAP benefits and the food she received at the Pantry. With delight, she told me of the curried cauliflower dish she made and she left with a hug.

Tim arrived at the Pantry two months ago.
He had NO income and was trying to settle his mother’s estate. He lives close to the Church so he walked as he has no car. He plans to earn some money this spring mowing lawns in his neighborhood as he searches for a job. We helped him with three bags of food and helped him apply for, and receive, the maximum amount of emergency SNAP benefits.

We are concerned about Alice and Tim as well as all the other clients we regularly see. We are also concerned, or you might say outraged, at what might happen to all the Alices and Tims in our Country. Let me tell you why…

  1. President Donald Trump released his budget on May 23rd, 2017. It proposes two things that are of deep concern to us:
    A proposed cut of over $193 billion from SNAP to take place over ten years.
  2. A $32 million cut in TEFAP . This is USDA food we distribute to our clients
    Nearly all of our Food Pantry folks receive food funded through TEFAP. Over half of our Food Pantry folks receive SNAP benefits.

Many believe that President’s Trump’s budget is “dead on arrival”. However, and this is an important point, Speaker of the House Ryan is interested in block granting SNAP benefits. This would mean a significant cut in SNAP benefits as well, though I don’t have exact numbers on this today. It would, however, mean that States would have more discretion in how money is spent. The safety net is breaking for these folks.

This is no longer an exercise in numbers. We are talking about hungry people. How can we let this happen?

We don’t have to let it happen. PLEASE, PLEASE, Call Your Congressman today. If you have never called your Congressman before, it’s easy. Here’s a sample script:

Dear Congressperson ____________________:

My name is ___________________ and I live in ___________________/work for___________________volunteer at_______________________and we serve many people in the Congressperson’s district. I am calling to express my concern over the President’s budget cuts to SNAP and TEFAP. My Church has a Food Pantry that serves 65 families per month. These cuts would drastically affect their ability to meet their nutritional needs. They would probably go hungry. Please help fight for them. Thank you.

If your Congressman is Representative James McGovern please give him a call to thank him for his tireless efforts on behalf of those who face hunger every day. He is the leading champion regarding these issues.

Please help us to help the Alices and Tims of our Pantry, our zip code, our State and our United States. We must do everything we can to counteract these harmful and hateful draconian cuts.

And, let me know if you have taken these steps and what happened. If you have any questions about the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, our mission, volunteering at food distribution or our advocacy work, contact me: Dianne Mann at