Lutheran Community Services is asking for help as the potential for a food emergency increases during the lengthy government shutdown.
In a recent email to supporters, LCS said the shutdown threatens to upset the safety net for many low-income households. More than 2,500 low-income households come to one of LCS’ 15 food distributions for nutritious food each month. Many also rely on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, formerly known as Food Stamps, to obtain food. February’s SNAP benefits are being paid early, on January 20, but after that no further benefits will be provided as long as the shutdown continues.
If SNAP benefits cannot be funded, LCS expects a dramatic increase in the need for food assistance as LCS becomes a primary source of food for those in need. As one pantry client expressed it, “there will be a line down the street and around the corner!” LCS estimates needing to buy up to three times the amount of food normally purchased to meet the emergency. This would include providing more food to existing clients and meeting the needs of new ones. Even if the shutdown is resolved, LCS expects a surge in February because of the early distribution of that month’s SNAP benefits.
In order to get ahead of this situation, LCS is asking for financial help. Please visit the LCS website — www.lcsde.org — for more information on how you can help or call (302) 654-8886.
Also on the LCS website is information about how to organize a food drive as well as a grocery list of the food most often needed, including:
Ravioli, spaghetti, meatballs in sauce
Corned beef hash
Ham and other canned meats
Canned vegetables – spinach, yams, carrots etc.
Macaroni and cheese
Cereal, grits, cereal bars, oatmeal
Dry or evaporated milk
Baking mixes for pancakes, waffles