Nicole June Reporting
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Food stamp benefits dropped Nov. 1 for more than 47 million Americans, and Congress is currently negotiating further cuts to the program.
Loaves and Fishes, a local food bank and soup kitchen, is preparing to help families in need during financial hardship.
Director Susan Chapman expects to see an influx in the coming weeks. “I’m sure that we’re probably going to see more individuals coming in to get meals on a daily basis,” she said. The kitchen serves hot meals Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
The organization relies on fundraisers and donations for support, and Chapman hopes these efforts will be increased as the holiday season begins. Food and monetary donations help Loaves and Fishes keep its doors open, and a full list of necessities can be found on the organization’s website.
The annual Jingle Bell Food Drive begins in December, but Chapman stressed the constant need, especially now.
“There are a lot of people who live paycheck to paycheck, and sometimes something catastrophic happens and any resource they have at their disposal can help them get back on their feet,” Chapman said. “There are no guarantees in life, and you never know who is going to need a helping hand.” She said many people who have visited the kitchen in times of need have given back to the organization later on in the spirit of paying it forward.
Those who wish to help can donate through the online virtual food drive, dropping items off at the kitchen, or volunteering through Friends of Loaves and Fishes. For more information, call 931-645-9020 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Loaves and Fishes of Clarksville is located at 215 Foster Street.