Some food pantries in Kentucky are preparing to serve more residents following changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, that are now in effect.
Nine-thousand people in eight Kentucky counties could lose their food stamps if they haven’t qualified for new federal work or job training requirements.
Charity Parrish is a spokeswoman for Community Action of Southern Kentucky. She says her agency can be a buffer for residents transitioning to meet the new rules.
“First of all we would take their information, income information, and see if they qualified for help with food at our agency,” says Parrish. “We have food pantries in several of our community services offices. They can come in and get a box of food and it’s whatever we have available at that time.”
The new rules that went into effect May 1 affect able-bodied adults ages 18 to 49 who don’t have dependents. They have to be in paid or volunteer work, or job training for at least 20 hours a week.
The requirements apply to residents in Bullitt, Daviess, Fayette, Hardin, Henderson, Jefferson, McCracken and Warren Counties.
Parrish says her group also encourages those in need to take part in a garden program.
“Right now you can get a $20 voucher to grow a vegetable garden. You can buy plants, fertilizer or seed,” she says. The agency also follows up in the summer with the people who get the vouchers to see how they’re doing. Those who plant gardens are also invited to take classes in cooking and canning.