Food Pantry: Leaders Don’t See Impact On SNAP Cuts
By Jeff Bossert and Sean Powers
It’s been just over two weeks says a reduction in food stamp, or SNAP benefits took effect due to the expiration in 2009 stimulus funds.
The head of a Champaign food pantry says it’s hard to say what the long-term impact is going to be.
But overall, Salt and Light Ministry Executive Director Nathan Montgomery said his staff has been averaging about 350 families a week, and running out of food nearly every week.
He said SNAP doesn’t necessarily remove people from poverty, but Montgomery also admits the program has served more as an enabler for some recipients.
He’d like to see better coordination between all entitlement programming funded by the federal government.
“I think all too often, the decision makers are far too removed from the front lines to truly understand where the rubber meets the road – how their decisions actually impact those programs, and how those programs actually function, and what they actually accomplish," Montgomery said. "Cause I think we can have great intentions, but if we don’t see the true outcomes, it’s really easy to get caught up in the policy.”
Those who supply the food to organizations like Salt and Light, like the Eastern Illinois Food Bank, also say it will be about a month before the full impact of the reduction in funding to SNAP will be realized.
Montgomery also says there wasn’t much that could be done to prepare recipients that the cut was coming.