Food stamp cuts threaten Thanksgiving for hundreds of families

Food pantries struggle to provide holiday meals

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - More families are heading to the Cross-Lines pantry to shop for their Thanksgiving meal now that they have less money to spend on groceries after food stamp cuts.

Jennifer Couts is filling up with her boxes whatever she can get, even if that means having to change her traditional holiday meal.

"Now, instead of me being able to make the baked macaroni like I normally would and the sweet potatoes casserole, I can't. I can't do it this year," she said.

She's received $80 less from food stamps this month. She's also lost her job.

"For the third time this year," she said.

Staff at the Cross-Lines food pantry normally expect about 200 families. But that's about to change.

"First year we had to come down to get help," Michael Murry, who was shopping with his wife for their family of five, said.

With families getting less money in from food stamps, Cross-Lines has to fill more baskets.

"Probably a 25 percent increase from previous times," Director of Emergency Services at Cross-Lines Susila Jones said.

That's about 50 more families.

"So were really lucky that we've seen an increase in our donations, without that our shelves would be bare right now," Jones said.

In the span of just 30 minutes, enough food for five families was donated to the pantry by a group of elementary students.

"It's really sweet, that's the true meaning of thanksgiving," Couts said.

That's a little more for the mom of two to have on her Thanksgiving dinner table.

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