Lehigh Valley

Food stamp decision helps food pantries

Food stamp decision helps food pantries

Anti-hunger advocates are breathing a sigh of relief after a recent decision by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett.

Corbett announced he will spend $8 million in federal energy assistance funding to preserve SNAP assistance that was in jeopardy.

SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is the food stamp program.

State officials said the recently-passed Farm Bill would have reduced food stamp benefits by an average of $60 a month for about 400,000 people in Pennsylvania, but Corbett's decision preserves that money.

"This indicates that the governor understands the impact that this cut would have had," said Kathryn Hoffman, the SNAP Outreach Coordinator at Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania. "It would have a ripple effect, a negative ripple effect."

"That would mean that they would visit the food pantries more often which would mean they would need more food from us," said Hoffman. "It would have meant having to ask for more donations and write more grants."

Second Harvest Food Bank supplies food pantries in six counties and Hoffman said there is always a need for donations, so the governor's decision helps reduce the burden.

"We always need donations," said Hoffman. "Especially of protein foods like peanut butter, soups, pasta sauces, fruit and vegetables."

She added, "I'm just really happy that he made this decision and that cut won't happen for all those families in Pennsylvania."

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