MD Food Pantry: "Critical Time" After House Votes Food Stamp Cut - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

MD Food Pantry: "Critical Time" After House Votes Food Stamp Cuts

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SALISBURY, Md. - Volunteers from Lower Shore Enterprises help pack up food donations at the Maryland Food Bank in Salisbury.  

The food that will help feed what workers say are 25,000 hungry people this month across the Eastern Shore.

This year, 40 percent of the food bank's inventory is from donations, but if $4 billion annual food stamp cuts from the House go through, Maryland Food Bank Eastern Shore managing director Jennifer Small says would-be donors are now going to have to keep those resources to feed their own family.

Small says the cutbacks will affect children.

"One in five children are suffering with food insecurity," said Small. "They have no idea where their next meal is coming from. That number is going to skyrocket and it's going to be very difficult with decreased donations to the food bank."

In Wicomico County, three elementary schools opened a food pantry, which allows families to take home food when needed.

"I can also imagine that our families are going to need more assistance from the school system," said Melissa Eiler, the principal at Beaver Run School.

House Republicans say they voted for steep cutbacks to help eliminate fraud.

"A lot of people depend upon it, but then on the other hand, a lot of people are getting it that are healthy and could work a little bit harder," said Charlotte Langrall of Salisbury, Md.

"It's going to be a very critical time," said Small.

WMDT spoke with Rep. Andy Harris' office to see how this will affect children and if this will have any effect on school lunch programs.

In an email, a spokesman for the congressman said, "Families which leave the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) due to termination of categorical eligibility in SNAP will have to apply for the school lunch program to ensure that their children continue to receive free lunches. 

"If the family incomes meet the requirements for free meals in the school lunch program, their children will continue to receive free meals."

The bill heads to the Senate for a vote.

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