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St. Vincent’s rallies to feed community after cuts to national food assistance program

By ThisIsReno

270198_10151596165987982_1750183485_nCATHOLIC CHARITIES NEWS RELEASE – The November 1 legislative cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, will mean a severe decrease in food assistance benefits for the hungry clients of Catholic Charities & the St. Vincent’s Programs. According to Feeding America, the cuts will mean a decrease of $36 per month for a family of four, and the average benefit level will drop to less than $1.40 per person per meal from $1.76 per meal.

Clients who rely on our St. Vincent’s programs in order to meet their hunger needs say these cuts could be devastating to their family’s well-being. “There’s nothing we can do about it,” says Karl S., a St. Vincent’s Food Pantry client of one year. “Being on a fixed income means every day is a struggle. This means even less money to spend on food than I already get, which isn’t much.”

In response to the SNAP cuts and an anticipated increase in clients, our food programs are adjusting our services in order to meet the growing needs of our families. Our St. Vincent’s Food Pantry staff is anticipating anywhere from 1,000 to 1,200 new families will visit the pantry during the month of November, many who will become permanent monthly clients. The pantry has already increased its business hours to include Saturdays, and we are working to increase the quantity of food distributed to each month.

St. Vincent’s Food Pantry already complies with Feeding America recommendations that local food pantries provide clients with one week’s worth of food per month in order to supplement SNAP benefits. After the cuts go into effect, the St. Vincent’s Food Pantry will increase the size of food boxes in order to feed families for a greater length of time. In addition, our St. Vincent’s Dining Room is anticipating a greater number of daily visitors, and therefore will continue to serve a hot, nutritious meal six days a week, year round. The number of meals we serve will be adjusted as demand increases.

“We are doing everything in our power to help reduce the pain these cuts are bound to cause to the families who come to us for food. But ultimately, we’re going to need the community’s help to continue feeding the growing numbers of people who come to us,” says Vogel.

Both the Dining Room and Pantry rely heavily on food and monetary donations from the community, including local businesses, individuals and foundations. St. Vincent’s Dining Room was established in 1961 and serves an average of 600 meals per day. The St. Vincent’s Food Pantry is the largest food pantry in the state of Nevada, and provides food assistance to more than 11,000 people each month. To learn more, visit www.ccsnn.org.

About Catholic Charities: Established in 1941, Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada (CCNN) is a Nevada-based, 501(c) (3) tax-exempt, non-profit corporation operating nine human service programs including: St. Vincent’s Dining Room, St. Vincent’s Food Pantry, St. Vincent’s Emergency Assistance Program, St. Vincent’s Residence, St. Vincent’s Thrift Shop, Holy Child Early Learning Center, Immigration Assistance Program, Adoption Program, and the Kids to Seniors Korner Program. CCNN is committed to providing help and creating hope in our community. From infants to seniors, CCNN assists approximately 40,000 people per month in the northern Nevada community.