Cleveland food pantries see effects of food stamp cuts

CLEVELAND - Neighborhood food pantries throughout the Cleveland area are already seeing the impact of the Nov. 1 food stamp cuts.

"This year has been busier than other years, but I would say the month of November really increased," said Lou Keim, director of the WSEM Food Centers. "We really saw that increase especially closer to Thanksgiving and it's still happening."

Dorothy Miller stopped by the WSEM Food Center at Community Corner Thursday for her family's Christmas turkey. 

Miller said she goes to three food pantries a month just to make ends meet. Her husband lost his job after he was hurt in an accident, she can't find work, and the monthly food stamp allotment for their family of four was cut.

"We were getting almost $550 and we're getting 4-something now," she said. "I have to make meals that last two to three days. So you take one day's food and you cook it and add water, flour, and make more."

Keim said people are generous with donations during the holiday season, and she believes the WSEM Food Centers will have enough food to meet the needs of their clients through Christmas.

She's concerned, however, about the next few months after the holidays are over. She's hoping organizations and schools will consider holding food drives during the first part of next year.

"We need it as much then as we do right now," she said.

For more information, contact WSEM Food Centers, 8302 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland 44102.  Phone: (216) 631-6508.

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