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Food Stamps Cuts Impact 'Feed Our Vets' Pantry

The holiday season is the busiest time of year for food pantries, but with the recent cuts to the food stamp program, some local pantries say it's going to be tougher than ever to make end's meet. Yesterday, we were celebrating Veterans. Today, volunteers at 'Feed Our Vets' are hoping community members will continue to remember the vets. They say many of their patrons use food stamps and these recent cuts have left dozens of people scrambling for the holidays. Rodney Yearby is a retired air force veteran. Following the cuts, Rodney's food stamps allotment was reduced, but he says pantries like 'Feed Our Vets' are always there to lend a hand.
The holiday season is the busiest time of year for food pantries, but with the recent cuts to the food stamp program, some local pantries say it's going to be tougher than ever to make end's meet.

Yesterday, we were celebrating Veterans. Today, volunteers at 'Feed Our Vets' are hoping community members will continue to remember the vets. They say many of their patrons use food stamps and these recent cuts have left dozens of people scrambling for the holidays.

Rodney Yearby is a retired air force veteran. Following the cuts, Rodney's food stamps allotment was reduced, but he says pantries like 'Feed Our Vets' are always there to lend a hand.

"I came upon some hard times. I was homeless. And I got a place to stay now and 'Feed Our Vets' has been instrumental in helping not just me, but thousands of people," says Rodney Yearby, veteran and food stamps recipient.

But now the pantry has fallen on hard times of it's own.

"Because of the food stamps cutback and jobless situation in the area and vets coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq, it's tough," says Joe Ancona, 'Feed Out Vets' pantry director.

Last year, 'Feed Out Vets' gave 48,000 pounds of food to local veterans. This year, they've already donated over 55,000 pounds of food and we're just entering the busy season. Ancona anticipates that they will donate about 70,000 pounds of food this year.

"That's what we're here for. To help every veteran whose hungry or homeless. We can't help them with a home but we can help them with food," says Ancona.

To keep up with the high demand, 'Feed Our Vets' volunteers found another way to stock the shelves: scrapping.

"We accept any type of scrap metal, all appliances, furnaces, heaters, car parts, cars, and we scrap that, bring it to junk yard, and with the money we get, we buy food and keep our pantry open," says Richard Synek, 'Feed Our Vets' executive director.

And for vets like Rodney who can't control their food stamp allotment, they can still get the food they need.

"Because of 'Feed Our Vets,' I've never had a problem with being hungry. I like Vienna sausage and chicken in a can the best," says Rodney.

'Feed Our Vets' pantry is open Wednesdays and Saturdays. With holidays approaching, they are asking the community for donations. For more information, visit: www.feedourvets.org
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