Federal Benefits Down, Local Food Needs Increase
November 30, 2013 — Some of Indiana’s food banks and pantries are seeing more people lining up for meals in response to a drop in federal food stamp benefits.
The 2009 economic stimulus effort had boosted food stamp dollars, but that extra funding ended this month. The Agriculture Department says a family of four is now getting $36 less a month in food stamps.
Food Bank of Northwest Indiana spokeswoman Megan Sikes tells The Times preliminary reports from member food pantries and soup kitchens show increases in the number of people coming in for food.
Sikes says more than 400 households visited the Highland food bank last week to get food. That’s up from about 230 households a year ago, an increase she says “is definitely” due to the food stamp cuts.