SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah food pantries are bracing for a potential rush on food after the government reduced food stamp benefits Friday.
About 250,000 Utahns had their food stamps reduced. Some food pantries have already done more food drives to prepare for the influx in needs.
The benefits were part of President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus plan. Since it is coming to an end, approximately 47 million Americans are seeing reductions in their government food assistance.
A family of four could be stripped of about $36 per month.
Utah Food Bank officials don’t think they will see bare shelves but in light of holidays and reductions, the Food Bank is asking for more non-perishable items.
The Utah Food Bank is pushing congress to stop the food stamp cuts and refund what’s known as the Snap Program.
"I think perhaps the inventory we ship out won't be as robust,” said Ginette Bott, chief development officer with the Utah Food Bank. “There won't be as many things to choose from. The variety won't be as diverse as it has been. We have so many different cultures we try to serve. It might be that everybody gets a bit of the same thing."
Congress is debating the issue now as part of the farm bill.