Overwhelming Need For Food Assistance: End of SNAP

Our Freeport Emergency Food Center has been almost overwhelmed this fall with requests for assistance. Congress has at least temporarily continued funding for WIC, the Commodities Surplus Food Program and other emergency food programs, but on November 1st benefits will be cut for all SNAP recipients (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program) because of legislation passed by the United States Congress in 2010. 76% of households receiving SNAP include at least one child, elderly person, or disabled person. SNAP has been helping more than 47 million low-income Americans put food on the table by providing benefits that are timely, targeted, and temporary—and with the benefit cuts more of these people are going to turn up at our food pantries in the coming weeks. If you have been collecting food for the LICC, this would be a great time to donate it!
 
Spare Change For Hungry Kids: Creative Idea

Like many food pantries, those operated by the LICC always need donations of baby food, infant formula, and diapers. One local church found a great way to keep this need on people’s minds. They collected empty baby food jars, put a label on them that said something like, “Spare Change for Hungry Kids” and asked the congregation with pennies or other loose change to pay for food for children in need.  We would love to do this at the LICC. If you know anyone with young children, could you ask them to save the empty jars for us? And, of course, we’d love to have unused formula, baby food, and diapers that their children no longer need, too. This might make a great project for your Sunday School, daycare program, or Scout troop--(maybe even an Eagle project.
 
The Need For Emergency Food Grows And Grows

At our Freeport Emergency Food Center, we have fed more than 1000 more people this year than we did in the same period in 2012—particularly more children. Donations always slow down during the summer months, when many of our regular supporters are away on vacation. If you have been collecting food or shopping bags for us, this would be a great time to donate them.

Where And How To Donate

Donations of food, personal care items, small household goods, and shopping bags can be dropped off in Freeport (450 N. Main Street, 516-868-498O9), Hempstead (in Christ’s 1st Presbyterian Church, 516-565-0290), and Riverhead (407 Osborne Avenue at Lincoln, 631-727-2210).
We’re open Monday-Friday, 9:00 to 4:30 in Riverhead & Hempstead and 10 to 4 in Freeport—please call if you plan to come earlier or later.
And, of course, monetary donations to support our emergency food centers would be greatly appreciated. These should be sent to the LICC at
1644 Denton Green,
Hempstead, NY 1150
Or call 516-565-0290 to charge your contribution to a credit card.

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(This article is based on the Long Island Council of Churches October Newsletter.)