Good thing the rain this past weekend didn’t keep folks away from Manna Food Pantries' 30th birthday celebration.
Turns out they will need every penny of that $32,000 they raised and then some to fight hunger in Pensacola.
DeDe Flounlacker, executive director at Manna, sees this time of year as the calm before the storm.
Flounlacker says demand at the main pantry on East Gonzalez Street has been tracking down a bit in recently, but demand at the Milton pantry is increasing. Especially among seniors, she says.
She says seniors are 12-13 percent of the people served at main pantry. At the pantry in Milton near Milton High School, it has been about 20 percent seniors. And they are serving between 250-300 people a week there.
Flounlacker expects the slack to pick up at all six of Manna’s locations if the cuts approved by the U.S. House of Representatives to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ( aka SNAP or food stamps) make it into law.
The current SNAP allocation for an individual is $29 a month. The proposed cuts would be particularly painful in Florida, where 19 percent of the population is on food stamps.
The cuts are a strange bit of class warfare from an end of the political spectrum that seems to be making a loft full of hay demonizing poor people as sponges and scofflaws.
Expansion of the program must mean people are gaming the system like mad, rather acknowledging that the program's rolls have grown because of need as the economy stagnated.
So much of all that Christian compassion for your brother from another mother, I guess.
Pensacolians have always responded when called upon to help their neighbors. And that is a good thing.
Because it looks like more of our neighbors are going to need our help just to get a meal.