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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Gwen Tolbert is a SNAP recipient.
The two-time cancer survivor supplements her meager monthly food stamp allowance of $99 with food from Feeding South Florida and its partners across the area. She says it helps her feed her grandkids.
“I’m on a fixed income and they love to eat, so the food that I get helps me feed them when they come over,” she said.
But Tolbert worries about the impact President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts would have on SNAP. Trump is proposing cuts of $193 billion dollars over 10 years, about 25% of SNAP funding. The move would shift some of that funding burden to states that rely on federal funding.
“They gonna be hungry,” Tolbert said. “It’s gonna be hard. They gonna be starving. They won’t be able to feed their families.”
It also worries Feeding South Florida President and CEO Paco Velez.
“This is the first line of defense against hunger for our working families,” Velez said.
Feeding South Florida already distributes 45 million pounds of food to nearly 800,000 people from each year. Velez says deep cuts to food stamps will mean more reliance on this agency and the others that try to keep food on the table for the less fortunate in our communities.
“Any kind of cuts that happen at the federal level that are impacting our families will place more a burden on non-profit agencies that are serving those families,” Velez said. “So with those cuts, those families will rely more on Feeding South Florida and our network of our non-profit organizations.”
Velez is asking for more donations and volunteers to help meet the growing need.
Gwen Tolbert hopes the President’s proposed budget remains just a proposal.
“If he cuts this program that mean a lot of people will go without food,” she said. “And then what? That’s not humanely sane. Where’s the heart? Where’s the love?”
Feeding South Florida says 12 percent of the people in South Florida are food insecure meaning they do not have a reliable source of access to food.
If you want to help, visit: feedingsouthflorida.org