Local Food Pantry Concerned Over Farm Bill That Will Cut Out Food Stamps

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VALLEY PARK, MISSOURI ( KTVI )- House approval of a scaled-back farm bill is setting up what could be an even bigger fight over food stamps and the role of food aid . Circle of Concern Food Pantry in Valley Park, Missouri  provides a variety of services to those in need. Operating as a food pantry, they hope that the food provided to the families will enable them to use their income for other needs. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps feed about a million Missourians each month, is missing from a farm bill just approved by the U.S. House of Representatives

Chris Pallazola  the executive director at Circle of Concern  is  worried what will happen if the final bill eliminates food stamps altogether.

Food Pantry: Each month more than 2,200 people receive food from Circle. Families receive groceries once a month based on the size of their family. They get canned goods, frozen meats, fresh produce, bakery items, bread, milk & eggs. Personal care items & paper products are also given out each month.

Financial Aid: Circle provides emergency assistance to its families for rent, utilities, prescriptions, gas vouchers and other necessities. Such aid is provided on an individual basis as funds are available at Circle.

Pallazola says the elimination of food stamps will cause the demand on food pantries even more, " The biggest worry, is that Just Food won't be able to reach its full potential and rely more heavily on other non-profits."

Food stamps have been a part of farm bills since the 1970s. Starting in 2007 with the downturn of the economy, the food aid program exploded in cost. The program has doubled in cost since 2008 to almost $80 billion a year.  Pallazola hopes lawmakers strengthen and not cut back. " Hunger is here and when you take away the option of food stamps, you will have people more hungry than you can imagine,” she said The executive director.

Pallazola is hoping the U.S. Senate restores food stamp funding before the current farm bill expires September 30.

For more information about the farm bill log onto : http://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/2013/07/2013-farm-bill-update-july.html

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