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Foodlink aims to close ‘snap gap’

February 16, 2019 06:24 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)- Organizations that help supply food to area families in need are expecting a windfall of households needing groceries next week. Last month, families received their SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits for February early.

Tom Silva with Foodlink says this caused a lot of confusion.

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"Because of the uncertainty of what was going to happen with the government shutdown a lot of people thought they had to spend their benefits before the end of January," Silva said. "This leaves almost a whole month for most households of having no extra assistance for food."

Now as families scrape together what they have to try to put food on the table, Foodlink is stepping up to try to fill what they call the "Snap Gap." Right now, there are at least 50,000 families on food stamps in Monroe County alone. On top of the government shutdown confusion, next week is February break for students across our area. This means kids who typically eat multiple free meals at school every day will not have that option. 

Next week Foodlink will be hosting 14 different distribution sites throughout the area. Families who get SNAP benefits in need of help can come get a package of food that will include meat, vegetables, non-perishables and more.

"It's a really unprecedented need in our community for folks to go 40-50 days without their SNAP benefits," Silva said. "We're just trying to step up and help fill that need for the families who are most impacted."

On top of that, Wegmans is also stepping up to help. Officials there have lowered the price on several items in produce, meat, dairy and more until March 2nd.

If you need to get food, you can show up to one of the distribution sites. Be prepared to answer a few questions about your household size, but you will not need an ID to get food. Only 250 households will be served on a first come first serve basis.

Credits

Kaci Jones

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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