Boston Food Pantry Facing Troubles With Gov. Shutdown - NECN

Boston Food Pantry Facing Troubles With Gov. Shutdown



    Shutdown stops flow of grant money to food pantry, already under strain from increased demand (Published Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014)

    (NECN: Justin Michaels) - The Red Cross Food Pantry in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston hands out emergency food provisions to the needy. This food pantry gets its food from grant money from the federal government and also from private donors. The federal money will likely stop with the government shutdown, placing a strain on this food bank to give the 44 pounds of emergency food they receive each month.

    Another issue is this is a screening site for SNAP, a food stamp program. People come here, meet and get the outreach and assistance they need. Funding for SNAP will stop at the end of the week, placing another strain on this food bank.

    And another, even larger problem will be the need at other food banks across Boston. It's a domino effect. The Red Cross is lucky to have private donors. Many other food banks depend solely on federal dollars to provide the food that people need. Because the federal dollars are stopping, other food pantry's may eventually run out of food, and in turn the needy will start to come to the Red Cross Food Pantry in greater numbers during a time the Red Cross is already strained.

    Jared Barrios, CEO, Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts said, "We are going to see a spike in demand and we are concerned. We won't turn people away, so it means we will be giving a little bit less out if necessary to each person so that everybody gets something."

    And before this government shutdown, this site has seen a 10-percent increase in clients needing food this year compared to last.