Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

November 6, 2013

Food stamp cuts expected to hit home

Decrease in benefits creating higher demand at food banks

CUMBERLAND — November is the first month that cuts in food stamp benefits take effect across the country and those who depend on the supplemental program to put food on the table are expected to feel the pinch.

“There are 7,707 households in Allegany County as of September that receive food stamps,” said Bill Walker, the assistant director for family investment for the Allegany County Department of Social Services.

The lowering of food stamp benefits has occurred as a result of the expiration of the increased benefits extended under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, an economic stimulus plan.

Walker said the total number of individual participants receiving food stamps in Allegany County is 15,260.

“We have had a number of concerned inquiries,” said Walker.

Officials said the decrease in food stamps will also have an effect on food banks and food pantries.

“It’s projected that food banks will need to have two to four times the goods to meet the demand. That’s an impossible request,” said Kurt Hoffman, chair of the social and behavioral sciences department at Allegany College of Maryland.

Walker said the average household size in Allegany County that receives food stamps is 1.9 and the average value of the food stamps received per household is $221.28 per month.

The cut to the food stamp program is expected to cause a decrease of around $36 per month for a family of four, $29 for three, $20 for a family of two and an $11 loss for an individual, Walker said.

“Already, some of our agencies have had as many as 20 new requests for food assistance,” said Diana Loar, the executive director of the Western Maryland Food Bank.

There are around 47 million people who receive some type of supplemental food assistance across the country. Officials said the decrease in food stamps could also have a negative effect on the economy.

Maryland is projected to lose around $82 million statewide because of the cuts, according to a Capital News Service story.

Administered under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, every dollar spent in food stamps creates about $1.70 in additional economic activity.

Walker said that $1.7 million in food stamps were issued in Allegany County in September.

“Following the cuts, the average family of four will receive about $358 per month,” said Hoffman.

Walker said people have known about the decrease, but it really hits home for them when they actually see it on their dinner table.

“The part that scares me is the demand it will place on supply,” said Loar.

Loar’s food bank on Frederick Street acts as a wholesale supplier for several food outlets and pantries.

“We (the food bank) are not the only one feeling it. All of our agencies are feeling the increased demand,” said Loar.

The Western Maryland Food Bank is holding its annual Bags of Plenty food drive beginning Nov. 13. The food bank distributes bags and encourages people to fill the bags with nonperishable foods and return them to the food bank or a designated site.

For more information on the food drive, call the Western Maryland Food Bank at 301-722-2797.

Greg Larry can be contacted at glarry@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Latest news
  • Sheriff warns of scams targeting taxpayers

    CUMBERLAND — Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson cautioned residents Thursday to be aware of continuing telephone scams that are targeting taxpayers.

    April 17, 2014

  • DSC_0446.JPG Oakland returns to normal after tanker accident

    OAKLAND — Nearly 12 hours after a propane tanker overturned in the heart of its business district, the town of Oakland returned to normal early Wednesday night.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • New River Gorge bald eagle dies from injuries

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A female bald eagle that nested in the New River Gorge has died from injuries suffered last month when she was hit by a train and later by a vehicle.
     

    April 17, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
     

    April 17, 2014

  • Park Service opens Canal Classrooms Park Service opens Canal Classrooms

    CUMBERLAND – The National Park Service held a ribbon-cutting event Wednesday for a new program called Canal Classrooms, which will offer students pre-K through fifth grade accredited classwork on the Canal Place grounds.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • City, county officials to talk baseball at work session

    CUMBERLAND — During today’s Allegany County Commission work session, a proposal to study the possibility of bringing a professional-level baseball team to the area will be vetted again, this time with participants from the city of Cumberland.

    April 17, 2014

  • EversolCody004.jpg Cody Eversole named Kelley Award winner

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser High School senior Cody Eversole was named this year’s J. Edward Kelley Award winner during a ceremony Wednesday morning at Potomac State College.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0464.JPG Cranes set up to remove overturned fuel tanker in Oakland

    OAKLAND — Two large cranes were being set up early Wednesday afternoon in downtown Oakland to remove a fuel tanker that overturned several hours earlier and forced evacuation of the business district.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Students support renovation of Southern Middle School

    OAKLAND — Students from both Southern and Northern middle schools presented a list of reasons why Southern Middle needs to be renovated during the Garrett County Commission meeting Tuesday.

    April 16, 2014

  • Oakland business district evacuated after tanker overturns

    OAKLAND — The town of Oakland business district was evacuated Wednesday when a tanker carrying 10,000 gallons of liquid propane overturned at Oak and Third streets at about 9:35 a.m., according to Garrett County officials.

    April 16, 2014