Emergency SNAP benefits are being reduced, leaving families concerned about the impact of losing those funds

Published: Apr. 4, 2023 at 11:29 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Emergency SNAP benefits are gone away meaning food pantries and banks like Cross-Lines Community Outreach are concerned for those they serve.

Cross-Lines welcomes anyone in need of help and now they’re worried about keeping up with the demand. The families they serve often struggle to put food on the table between paychecks or unexpected emergencies. The pandemic – an unexpected emergency – allowed them to receive those benefits but now they’re gone.

Executive Director Susila Jones said they served around 30-40 people daily pre-pandemic, but that number has gone up to as much as 100 people daily.

Shoppers at Cross-Lines can use points based on their household size. Those points allow shoppers to get enough food for approximately 10 meals.

Fresh produce, canned goods, eggs, butter, and more are available on the shelves using points, not dollars, but now those people have to adjust.

“So many of the families that we serve are using those snap benefits already and they still need more assistance,” said Jones. “With the skyrocketing costs of food already, we are just so concerned about what this is going to do to people in need in our community and how organizations like Cross-Lines and other organizations are going to keep food on our shelves.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports more than 41 million people receive benefits through SNAP. Jones said probably less than 10% of people coming in to shop don’t have them.

She said she’s hearing desperation from several people coming in, especially those who have never had to ask for help or have these snap benefits.

“More and more people are needing that now so people are just more desperate especially vulnerable people like seniors that are already on a very limited budget, they’ve worked their whole life, they can’t go out and get another job. They are just barely scraping by so our seniors especially are just really worried about how this is going to impact them.”

Cross-Lines also serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday for those in need. That’s at their Don Bakely Community Annex on the campus at 646 S. 7th Street Trafficway.