To the Editor:
Based on recent estimates that Allegany County is home to slightly more than 74,000 people, more than one out of every five of our citizens will be affected by cuts in the food stamp program.
That’s 15,260 people in 7,707 households, a staggering number, considering the economic condition of our county.
Food stamp benefits are being cut because provisions of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, an economic stimulus plan, have expired.
If you are asking, “What recovery? What economic stimulus?” we don’t blame you. Not much of either one has been experienced in these parts.
If anything, all it did was make it a little bit easier for those who are impoverished to survive. Furthermore, any economic stimulus that the stimulus plan produced is likely to be negated by the cuts.
Our area has several food banks and pantries that help the needy, and they are now having to confront the thought of an already insurmountable problem becoming even worse. The demand on their resources will certainly expand.
The Western Maryland Food Bank will hold its annual Bags of Plenty food drive beginning Nov. 13. It will distribute bags for people to fill with unperishable food and return to the food bank or other sites. For more information, call 301-722-2797.
Hunger is a terrible thing, particularly in a nation as rich as ours.
If there is a food bank or pantry where you live, and you are in a position to help it, please do so.