EUGENE, Ore. — Cuts in food stamps will take food off the table for millions of Americans on Friday. In Lane County, it will affect about 45,000 households and local food banks are bracing for the crowds.
Food banks like Food for Lane County serve thousands of people each year. In its last fiscal year, it distributed about eight million pounds, a record. Now with SNAP cuts in effect and the holidays coming up, Food for Lane County is anticipating a rise in demand.
SNAP benefits were cut by $5 million nationwide Friday because the funding the program received during the recession expired. An average family of four will see a slash of six to seven percent in their food stamp benefits. One place they can turn to, to fill the gap, is food banks.
“Our business typically gets busier at the end of the month when people’s benefits run out. So obviously they will run out sooner, so what we’re anticipating is people will come to us earlier,” says Food for Lane County Executive Director Beverlee Hughes.
People who receive food stamps can still get food from food banks. Eligibility is based on income and an individual who take home less than $1,700 gross income each month qualifies.
Food for Lane County has 28 food pantries around town.