Potential Food Stamp Cut Would Hit Hard Locally - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Potential Food Stamp Cut Would Hit Hard Locally

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Word that the food stamps program may lose $4 billion was met with fear at the food bank.

"It terrifies me frankly," said Community Food Bank Director Eileen Bradshaw.

And a whole host of adjectives at the Iron Gate soup kitchen.

"Angry, despair, alarmed, saddened," said Director Connie Cronley.

And that's not even counting the reaction of folks actually on food stamps.

"It's very humbling that we've been put in this situation," said Jennifer Anderson. She and her friend Andrew LeMieux each receive about $200 a month.

"I've always worked hard my whole life, and I was out of a job for a year, and times got tough, and I had to bit my lip and go and get food stamps," said Andrew.

They stretch their budgets with meals at Iron Gate.

"We serve about 500 to 600 meals a day," said Cronley, also crunching the numbers on what a $4 billion food stamp cut would mean to a family of four.

"Their food stamps are likely to be cut $396 which is 21 meals a month. Which child goes without food that night?" she asked.

Hopefully it's not the one on the giant banner in the warehouse of the food bank.

"We really wanted to put a face on some of the folks that we were serving," said Bradshaw.

Add the potential loss of those food stamps, and the burden on the food bank grows even larger.

"We are doing heavy lifting now and I am concerned that we are not going to be able to keep up with that increase in need," she said.

Hungry for answers. Of how to cope if the cuts come, of what it says about us?

"Alarming is a good word to think. What kind of uncaring people are we that we don't care to feed our people?" asked Cronley.

"It just feels like our country is better than that," said Bradshaw.

"Just don't judge, there are people out there that really need this," said LeMieux.

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