Barton County Food Bank seeing more people

GREAT BEND, Kansas – Half of the people who rely on food at the Barton County Food Bank are also on food stamps and with recent cuts, even more people are reaching out for help.

“I think there was a number of things after the holidays, with kids being out of school during the holidays, food stamps have been cut some, and the people that do use our food banks are on food stamps,” said Jennie Gordy, Barton County Food Bank manager.

The number of people coming into the food bank this year is similar to last years, but officials at the food banks say that they see a lot more people come in at the end of the month, especially when their food stamps run out.

“The end of the month is our largest time when people come in because they get their food stamps the first of the month, and then those don’t seem to last,” says Gordy.

The reduction in food stamps means that the average assistance per person went from $124.19 last year to $118.56 this year.

With 10 percent of Barton county residents receiving food stamps, the food bank saw 605 people come in, in 2012 and last year they saw an increase of 31 people.

“Basically they have to be in an emergency situation in other words, they’ve lost a job, their spouse has passed away, and they’ve lost that income that their spouse may have had,” said Gordy.

The increase has volunteers glad that they can be there to help those in need.

“We’re having lots of new families. I don’t know what to make of it. I guess that they feel like we’re quite a blessing,” said Bob Essmiller, volunteer.

In all the Barton County Food Bank has seen 71 new families come in this year.

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