Many people struggle with hunger around the holiday season and this year could be even worse for some. Congress cut the budget of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program more commonly known as SNAP. The cuts will start to take place on November 11st of this year.
The Executive Director of the Wichita Falls Food Bank Area Mark McKethan said "We either need to stop congress from cutting the benefit or we have to prepare ourselves ahead of time. We don't know if we are capable of doing that or not because of anticipating the demands are going to be pretty incredible. At a minimum the demand on the food bank would increase 100 to 200 thousand pounds of month."
To prepare themselves for the increase in hunger, the food bank needs to compare this year's food supply to previous years and develop some type of plan to try and solve the hunger problem.
McKethan said "Which in turn is going to have ripple effect because it is going to increase demand. We deal with 200 agencies and programs that deal directly with the public which is going to increase their demands which is going to increase our demand."
For most the cuts to SNAP are not going to be realized until it's too late.
McKethan said "In many cases when they receive their benefit payment for the month they realize that it is reduced"
The decrease in SNAP is going to hurt people of all ages.
McKethan said "Who is going to be affected the most by a cut in SNAP benefits? Well in Wichita County 50 percent of them are going to be children."
SNAP is a good program that helps people who really need it. To qualify for SNAP people are screened and are required to work or seek job training to remain on the program.
"It's accused of being as inefficient but it is one of the most efficient programs the government runs with a fraud rate of less than one percent" said McKethan.
It's not too late for congress to change their mind on the cuts but McKethan does not think they will. These cuts are going to affect about 37,000 people in just 12 Texoma counties alone.
If you would like to donate to the Wichita Falls Food Bank Area, you can either go to their website www.wfafb.org or mail a donation to 1230 Midwestern Parkway Wichita Falls, TX 76302.