Families on food stamps turn to food pantries

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LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Thousands of people who depend on food stamps to feed their families are not getting what they need.

In Lexington, it is not unusual to see a line outside the West Davidson Food Pantry. And organizers said the number of people lining up for food is growing.

“I attribute it to the cut in SNAP funding that goes to people on food stamps and the people in need in our county,” said Cody Milliron, executive director of the food pantry.

Officials said more than 45 new clients have started coming to the pantry just in the last month.

Milliron said they’re going to have to increase their funding or else they’ll have to start turning people away, which he doesn’t want to do.

Organizers said they hope donations to the food pantry pick up, so no one has to leave empty handed.

Congress cut nearly $11 billion in food stamp funding, affecting nearly two million people in North Carolina.


  • laffinatcha

    Congress hasn’t cut SNAP. They didn’t extend a TEMPORARY increase. Maybe some people just haven’t learned that the government is NOT a panacea nor is government aid a way to support a family.

    • Mandy Lewellen

      I agree completely. I have watched people load up around the first of the month in the grocery stores, buying pringles, red bull, frozen dinners and desserts (not the cheap ones) candy, and basically expensive junk food, all while talking on a $500 cell phone. It doesnt surprise me at all if these people run out of food stamps and food within a couple of weeks. They need to regulate and enforce the type of foods that can be bought with food stamps and maybe teach some classes on how to shop smarter. I guess this only comes naturally to those of us that have to actually work and pay for our own food. All these handouts are going to be the death of our country. They are teaching people how to use the system and get something for nothing. This does not encourage people to get a job and contribute. Look what happened to Rome. Bread and circuses…….

      • Trisha

        I have seen people who really need the help from SNAP benefits and I have seen people in stores who do abuse them. Not all of the people who get them buy junk. It’s sad when a bunch if people are judged because if the bad things that some do. I actually have an iPhone but haven’t you all heard of the free upgrades offered by cell phone companies? So not everyone pays $500 for a phone that has one. Some people will always have something negative to say about everything. I think that a lot of people who get food stamps just lack the shopping skills to shop for reasonably priced healthier foods so they just buy what they know. If the government doesn’t want you to buy those things with the food stamps they should be banned or have limits. I just feel bad for the people who need and can’t get.

      • Lissa Hayes

        Maybe the phone was a gift, or more likely they got it on a contract for next to nothing or had it before they needed help. Do you often stalk people in grocery stores and spy on them? When I shop I don’t pay attention to who or what the person in front of my buys. Why? Because it really isn’t any of my business. Maybe you ought to start minding your own for a change. Life is too short to worry about things you can’t change or fix, or people who have what you don’t.

  • Maria Bivens

    Wow I realize that there are those that take advantage of government assistance, but have you ever stopped to think about the elderly that depend on food stamps, or the unemployed that are searching for a job, with no luck and still have families to feed. It is not our place to judge, but to help those in need. If there are those that slip through the cracks, or run through the door taking advantage of the system, then shame on them, but they are the ones that will have to answer in the long run. I pray that I never have to seek help, but if the need arises then I will. I am just really surprised at how easy people are to judge!Thank God for ministries such as West Davidson Food Pantry and thank you to those who volunteer and donate!

  • Rylansmom

    To the last 2 people to comment. I disagree you for understand how hard it is especially with me being a single mom. I work my butt off I provide for my son but its either have a roof over my sons head or have food with the job I have. Therefore I had to get on benefits. And it’s not enough. No I don’t buy energy drinks, or all this junk food but food is expensive. And my benefits is just not enough. At the end of the month I’m having to scrape together money for milk,bread and something to cook for my son. Hell I have went without eating before because I only had enough to feed him. So before you judge and say “to actually people who work to get there food” maybe you should know the whole situation. That’s the problem with people who automatically think people are using the system some people actually need it. And I’m frankly tired of the people always judging.

    • Tam

      Thank You Rylansmom..you are so right and I am in the same boat as well..Working families have it hard too having to chose between a roof and lights over food or going hungry to feed your child..

    • Cuts coupons

      Where are you shopping that you can’t make $300+ a month stretch for you and your child? Do you shop sales? Use coupons? Go to the store after 6pm to look for marked down meats? I feed 2 adults (including packed lunches) on less than $200 a month. We have NEVER gone hungry. In that $200 I also include paper products, shampoo, personal care, etc. Please don’t say you don’t have time. You found the time to sit down at your computer to reply to this story. Go out tomorrow and buy a Sunday paper. Sit down with your store flyers and do coupon match ups. Also search the web for people in this area who post coupon match ups for you, saving you even more time. Once you get into the habit of saving money, I promise you will not face another end of the month looking for food.

      • Tiffany Perry

        300 (give or take with the lower amount since the additional amounts expired) is the MAX amount for 2 people, and chances are, if a person has ANY income, they aren’t receiving that much. They base the amount of food that you are responsible for as 1/3 of a person’s income and they could care less how much your car payment, insurance, and/or gas is. And for the people who are referring to child support? Are you kidding?? Do you know how much of a joke child support enforcement is around here? And if you are lucky enough for the absent parent to be willing to pay what the state does not take, it is diverted directly back to the state if you receive any type of assistance, Medicaid and food stamps included. In other words, the man pays 600.00 (as if) and the state gets 600.00. The child gets zilch. Some of those who are being judgmental need to know what they are really talking about. Furthermore, food stamps do not cover paper products and using coupons result in having to pay tax on those coupons in some stores. Target being one of them, I know. Meaning: you have zero dollars in your pocket. You buy three of cans of soup that are 4.59. You have a coupon for a dollar off three cans,… you are expected to pay the tax on that 1.00. Which is fine if you have it, right? You still save in long run… IF you have that in your pocket. If not, the only option is not to use the coupon.

    • Jesus

      Since you’ve shared your economic situation here and explained your hardships and validation for getting food stamps as a single mother, you failed to mention anything about recieving child support. I will assume your childrens father assists you in feeding them?

  • fedup with system abuse

    I realize that everyone that is on Public Assistant can not can not make it without it, but think about this. How many that are on Food Stamps (or other assistant) are smoking cigarettes, buying other tobacco products, drinking alcohol, etc…? How much money is wasted on that instead of providing food or other essentials?

    Many people now expect a hand out, and still want to buy things that they want instead of the things that they need.

    • Bill Snead

      That is one of the big problems with people getting government assistance, most of them think they can’t live without a nice car, a nice house, a cell phone, cable t.v.,the internet, an Ipod, etc, etc. It’s a different world today from what I grew up in. We had none of the above things, and we never received assistance. We grew most of our food, lived in an old farmhouse without running water or a bathroom. We had one 17 inch b & w t.v and a 16 party line phone. We knew we were poor and accepted it.

      • Susan Buslett

        I am disabled but don’t qualify for assistance and even when I did (before my disability came in) I didn’t have the money to buy anything! I don’t smoke, I don’t drink and I cannot even fathom how someone that truly needs food stamps could actually have cable tv or a decent car to drive.

  • Susan Buslett

    Gee guys. . you are a news reporting agency and you have the story wrong. Congress did NOT cut funding. There was an increase in food stamps in 2009 as part of the stimulus package. It expired this year. Do your research!

    • Bill Snead

      That is the problem with extending any government assistance program. The people getting the assistance never think it should go back to where it was. A case in point.. Unemplyment pay was supposed to end after 26 weeks, but has been extended several times. The House of Representatives has refused to extend it again and the takers are crying foul again!!

  • Jason

    My heart bleeds…… If people are having problems feeding their families, maybe they should have considered their economic situation before starting a family. They could also take on extra work to earn more money. People would rather be lazy and get free handouts than work and manage their finances properly. I say cut out all the food stamps and related programs, absolutely no sympathy here.

    • Lissa Hayes

      I gather you don’t pay much attention to how many jobs are actually out there these days, nor how hard it really is. Awesome someone gave you a job and you haven’t ever had to resort to anything else. Lucky you. I live in Canada, I see the American news constantly. Your country is ruining itself, there is a high unemployment rate, and all you idiots do is start wars with other countries, outsource the jobs, and then blame the poor for it.
      Not everything is the fault of the poor, nearly 100% of it is the fault of your government spending too much on things like the air force flying over a nascar race, wars, bailouts to banks and so much more.

  • concerned mom

    To Jason we see you have no heart you must have no family yourself. Have you ever thought about the economies with layoffs and time cuts. There are plenty of people who care for there families and had this happen to them. Making them turn to food stamps and work first programs. It has nothing to do with starting a family crisis is not planned or expected. Yes some people are lazy but you can’t let them affect the people who need assistance. At least they are not letting three children STARVE! They have already mentioned drug testing for food stamps they will have to make one’s on the system turn in information from applying at jobs ( with the exception of the ones who truly cannot work). I myself have been applying every day yet still no job bc they can’t afford the employees. So think about that Mr. Heartless

    • Lissa Hayes

      Exactly concerned mom. Here we have about 80,000 people going to lose jobs from Canada Post stopping door to door mail. Of course people like Jason would say that is their fault and they are lazy because they didn’t plan for this change in the future and therefore shouldn’t have had any children. He doesn’t get it, most don’t seem to. They think you apply for a job you get it, they don’t understand the search, and that is because mommy and daddy handed them theirs and they have been lucky enough not to lose it yet to a layoff, company going bankrupt or whatever else happens.

  • slledford

    Ok i have foodstamps my husband works and i am a stay at home mom because child care is so expensive we rely on foostamps to get through the month because we don’t have luxury items we have one tv that gets free tv and the other is for dvds only we live in a two bed trailer and we have lights and rent to pay every month along with insurance and everything else we drive older car not two but one i do not want to hear that we don’t need typo grey everything and the only reason i can get online is the cheap phone thati when we can afford to keep them on.government assistance should be stricter but at the same time should be there for those that truly need help

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