Sequestration cuts could hamper efforts by Cleveland Foodbank

CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Foodbank distributes more than 100,000 meals everyday and prepares 10,000 warm meals every day for children.

It also sends a backpack filled with groceries home on Fridays with thousands of school kids, so they have enough food to get them to Monday at school.

Sequester cuts would mean the food bank loses $50,000 in federal funds to handle the food.

Not a ton of money but it's another blow when food supplies for those in need are already dangerously low.

Sequester cuts will also hurt the federal WIC program which helps women, infants and children.

That means more demand from families turning to food banks.

"If you look at the beginning of 2013, we all make less money, those tax cuts affected us immediately. Gas prices have gone up 50 cents in the last 30 days, so we have faced hardships already in 2013 that have nothing to do with sequestration," said Anne Goodman President and CEO of the Cleveland Foodbank.

Goodman said food prices soared 7% last year and are still rising.

That means, just like when you buy groceries for your family, the food bank's' federal funds buy less food at a time when poverty is at a 50 year high, Goodman added.

"So we then have to turn to the community and raise more funds to help us distribute the food. While we're daunted, we're optimistic because this is a community that is extraordinarily generous," Goodman said.

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