Drop in SNAP benefits sends local food banks into overdrive

December 19, 2013 • Local News

Carl Harrison, driver and warehouse worker for Salvation Army in Roswell, packs a basket of emergency food for a family of four at the Salvation Army Food Bank, Tuesday. (Tess Townsend Photo)

Clients were queuing up for shopping carts of emergency food at the Salvation Army Food Bank on South East Main Street early Tuesday afternoon.

“Gotta do what you gotta do to make it as a mom,” said Evon, 33, of Roswell, as she waited for her cart.

The 2009 Recovery Act’s stimulus funding for federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly referred to as food stamps, expired Nov. 1.

The ensuing decrease in SNAP assistance — a total drop of $43 million per month in New Mexico, according to the state Human Services Department — has put local food pantries in the position of making up the difference for aid recipients.

In Chaves County, which is home to 15,482 SNAP recipients according to HSD, food banks Roadrunner Mobile Food Pantry and Salvation Army-Roswell report an increase in clients since the temporary boost to SNAP ended.

Reduction in benefits varies by family size, with a family of three seeing a deduction of $29 from each monthly check, according to HSD.

Salvation Army Business Coordinator Fran Brown said that such a cut has a Login to read more

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