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Local food banks pushed to the brink

Rochester, N.Y. -- Some say local food pantries are about to be pushed to the breaking point because of recent cuts made to federal food programs.

Most recently, theres been a lot of controversy over the cuts made to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP benefits, in the recently passed farm bill.

Weve been out of food now for a couple of weeks, said Bishop Herman Dailey, founder of the Outreach Community Center food bank in Rochester.  Many families are feeling the crunch and theyre looking to food pantries like ours.

Dailey founded the Outreach Community Center in 1985 and he said theres more demand in the community for food assistance than ever. He blames recent cuts made to unemployment benefits as well as other cuts made over time to federal food stamp programs.

The demand is greater, we just dont get enough donations and we dont receive any federal funding, Dailey said, adding that General Motors and the United Auto Workers are two of the biggest donors to food bank."That makes it hard for us to keep up when the cuts happen."

Dailey believes that as federal assistance for those buying food is reduced, more and more people will be looking to local food banks.

In Monroe County, almost 116,000 people are enrolled in federal food assistance programs. It remains to be seen how many people will be affected by the recent cuts as a result of the newly-passed farm bill, but Dailey says a change in strategy may be necessary to help those in need.

 
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