Food assistance groups have
voiced concerns to U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre regarding a continued and growing
need for nutrition services in southeastern North Carolina and uncertainty
about future funding for the nation’s food stamp program.
McIntyre, D-N.C., stopped
by the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina’s Wilmington location
Monday, Sept. 16, during a visit to Brunswick and New Hanover counties. He met
with representatives from the Food Bank and partner organizations in Brunswick,
Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties for a roundtable discussion on the
need for hunger relief.
Food Bank President and
CEO Peter Werbicki asked McIntyre where he stood on a proposed 40 billion
reduction to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The House of
Representatives this week was scheduled to consider a bill to cut SNAP, a
program that traditionally has been part of the Farm Bill until Republican
leadership split them into separate measures, McIntyre’s office said.
“There is a movement afoot
that I’m very concerned about that would completely cut out any of that food
program as part of the Farm Bill,” McIntyre told Food Bank members and partners,
adding that is why he had voted against the Farm Bill this past summer.
“Now where we are, it’s
not just the $40 billion,” McIntyre added. “I’m afraid it’s going to be
possibly double that. If I voted against it earlier when they cut it out, you
can be sure I’m not going to vote for cutting out twice as much.”
McIntyre said he could
give no specific numbers yet and that he would find out more during upcoming conference
included Rick Zigler of Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard in Wilmington, who said the
volunteer organization had a growing demand and was relocating to a new
Roy Tucker of the
Southport Oak Island Interchurch Fellowship said the nation should increase the
minimum wage to help lessen the need for nutrition assistance.
“Long term, we’ve got to
get people away from food pantries and food stamps,” Tucker said.