Yesterday’s government shutdown has prevented people from signing up for the federally funded food stamps program.
New Opportunities Coordinator Teresa Lansman says that last year about 95% of the 600 applicants were signed up for the national food assistance program. However, those who are on the program now can still access their balances online and print out an application, but the main website is currently down due to the shutdown.
Lansman states that the food stamps program is a tricky system because the application has to go through two different locations and there are so many variables, that it’s hard to get qualified for it.
One solution, adds Lansman, is using the local food pantry, Action Resource Center, which she says could encourage more people to take advantage of in light of the possible cut in the funding for food stamps.
“I actually think that will get the food pantry uses going up more. People are really already hurting. Several people have come in and says ‘we’re getting maybe $5-$6 a month.’ If you’re without food and depending on it, you work that much into your budget and then if they start cutting it something else has to be cut.”
The Jefferson ARC fed 90 families in July. For more information about the food pantry program, call Lansman at 386-2719.