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Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015

Local food pantries stretched, donations requested

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

(Photo)
Dyer County food pantries like this one at Matthew 25:40 may require a boost over the next few weeks. A change in the distribution of benefits for residents served by the SNAP, or food stamp, program has many families feeling a strain in this first month of transition. Matthew 25:40 Executive Director Amy McDonald encourages local residents to contact the organization or food pantry they normally donate to to see if additional food is needed. 'At Matthew, we need anything that will make a meal,' said McDonald. 'Tuna Helper and a can of tuna will make a meal for a family who needs it.
Food pantries throughout the county may require a little extra help from residents in the month of October.

"We've been calling on our regular donors for items," said Matthew Executive Director Amy McDonald "The food in our pantry is going out the door as fast as it is coming in. I'm not just asking for our agency. I am asking that you think of whoever you usually donate items to in this time of need in our community."

During the first five days of October, Matthew 25:40 served nearly half the number of residents it normally serves in an entire month, with McDonald citing a change in the disbursement date for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, or food stamps, as one of the factors for the increase.

In the past, SNAP participants received their benefits according to the last two digits of their Social Security numbers between the first and 10th of the month. Now, residents participating in the SNAP program will receive their benefits between the first and the 20th day of the month.

The change, while beneficial in the long run, may extend the time period without food for many residents who rely on the program to feed their families in this first month.

Dyer County Supervisor of the Department of Human Services David Duncan said notices were sent out to SNAP participants in July and August to help prepare for the transition, but local food pantries may still expect to feel a strain.

"This month is going to be a transition month for everybody," said Duncan.

The SNAP benefits distribution schedule, effective Oct. 1, follows:

If your Social Security number ends in:Benefits are distributed on:
00-041st day of the month
05-092nd day of the month
10-143rd day of the month
15-194th day of the month
20-245th day of the month
25-296th day of the month
30-347th day of the month
35-398th day of the month
40-449th day of the month
45-4910th day of the month
50-5411th day of the month
55-5912th day of the month
60-6413th day of the month
65-6914th day of the month
70-7415th day of the month
75-7916th day of the month
80-8417th day of the month
85-8918th day of the month
90-9419th day of the month
95-9920th day of the month



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