INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - After four years, changes are coming to the 900,000 Indiana households that rely on help from food stamp assistance. Emily Weikert Bryant, Executive Director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, the statewide food bank association, said extra benefits from the 2009 federal stimulus bill will expire Nov. 1.
She said the reduction will amount to $36 a month less for a family of four.
"That's two solid days worth of food eating into their food budget,” she said. “And it’s going to mean there are going to be more visits to pantries and other places for food assistance.”
Organizers say those pantries – believe it or not – are still stretched by the effects of the recession.
“Officially the recession ended in June of 2009,” said Robert Wilson, a spokesman for Gleaner’s Food Bank. “Unfortunately we simply haven’t seen a return of good-paying jobs.”
Wilson said the pantry attached to Gleaner’s Food Bank on the west side of Indianapolis just set a record with more than 1,000 visitors in one day. Monthly, they average about 5,500 households.
“So we just have a lot of families who are struggling,” he said.
“Hunger has not improved,” said Bryant.
Now, to prepare for what could be longer lines in the next few months, pantry organizers are asking for the public’s help.
"We're going to have to come together as a community to respond to that increased need,” said Wilson.
The change is not related to the current federal government shutdown.
A winter storm warning is in effect for most of Central Indiana.
It's very rare that a single person can reach across national, racial, and spiritual borders to bring such hope and healing.
Dispatchers with Indiana State Police say a vehicle left the roadway Thursday night off of Interstate 69.