Budget cuts end USDA food distribution in Surry County

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SURRY COUNTY, NC — Recent budget cuts from the federal and state have forced Surry County officials to discontinue their quarterly food distribution to food banks in Elkin and Mount Airy.

Director of Social Services Wayne Black said approximately 65 % was reduced from the federal government and about 50 % percent was lost from the state.

On Monday, Black and the Surry County Commissioners decided the $10,000 the county would have to pay to keep the distribution going was not reasonable for their budget.

“It just was not cost-effective for us to spend over  $10,000 in county money to distribute food, four times a year in two locations when that food... could be distributed to Surry County citizens through our food pantries,” said Black. “They’re open anywhere from 3 to 5 days a week, so people in need can go there.”

Food will still be available to those in need through the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC.

Second Harvest distributes to nine food pantry locations in Mount Airy, Pilot Mountain, Elkin and Dobson.

For the past four years Surry County has allocated $20,000 to the five major food banks each year.

Black said as the funding decreases the need for food assistance increases as approximately 450 new applications for food stamps are submitted every month.

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