Local food pantry stocking up as government shutdown impacts food stamp recipients

Hampden County

Food Bank of Western Massachusetts made a delivery to the Gray House food pantry in Springfield on Wednesday.

The United States government has assured SNAP beneficiaries that they can depend on their benefits through February. If the partial government shutdown is still ongoing after that, SNAP beneficiaries can’t be so certain.

Gray House Executive Director Teresa Liberti has gotten numerous calls from worried food stamp recipients. Liberti has assured them that, in addition to the 5,000 people the agency currently serves, Gray House can provide additional food.

“We have the capacity to serve these people and want them to feel comfortable coming here,” Liberti said. “If you are living paycheck to paycheck and need a little extra to re-allocate your funds.”

The latest food bank shipment that has more than doubled what the Gray House can offer its clients. Donations have increased the Gray House’s purchasing power from the Food Bank at favorable rates.

“We have 30-pound boxes of meat that we can get ten cents on the dollar,” Tim Holt told 22News. “Three dollars for a 30-pound box goes a long way. That’s steaks, chicken, tenderloin, duck…”

Gray House is taking on the responsibility of serving as a lifeline for many in need, fearful that their reliance on the food stamp program could be in jeopardy if the partial government shutdown extends into the month of March.

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