Many food distribution sites offer nutrition and meal preparation education and information targeted to helping families make the most of donated products. Numerous community groups are also sponsoring weekend meal programs at area schools – sending home a bag of food on Fridays.
Yet, accessing food and meal programs requires the ability to get to numerous sites at the times they distribute, wait in long lines, and take what is available. Food insecure families typically struggle with transportation and work in service jobs that have limited work schedule flexibility.
There is a variance of $6,100 annual income between the federal poverty level ($11.490) and self sufficiency ($17,593) for a single adult; more than $20,000 variance for a family of four — $23,550 versus $44,264. In Madison County SNAP currently exceeds $3 million in monthly assistance. Cuts at the levels being discussed in our nation’s capital will absolutely impact our community.
Nancy Vaughan is president of United Way of Madison County Inc. Her column appears the fourth Sunday of each month. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-3061.