Federal food stamp benefits began the return to their 2009 levels on Nov. 1. The planned end to a temporary stimulus measure will nonetheless mean a change in the way some people feed themselves, here and across the country.
Though an additional measure, passed by the House of Representatives, will eventually make more changes - such as ending indefinite waivers for able-bodied adults with no dependents and allowing states to put work requirements in place - the end of stimulus will be the beginning of a transition for some hardworking families in the area.
Part of that transition may mean increased traffic at facilities such as the Soup Kitchen of Greater Wheeling. The Soup Kitchen already provides hundreds of meals per day. More daily need, combined with the approaching holiday season, will be quite a strain on the organization.
Local businesses often try to host events that will increase awareness and bring in some extra food for the Soup Kitchen. Community effort at such events is important. But day-to-day operations require daily support. Families who are able should consider adding a few dollars' worth of non-perishable goods to their grocery carts for donation. Those who have begun to plan their Thanksgiving menus should try to add a special ingredient or two to their shopping lists, in order to help the Soup Kitchen provide festive meals.
Food pantries and soup kitchens in our area provide food and support to those in need. As colder weather takes hold, and we look forward to holidays filled with food and family, many of us have the means to provide food and support to those facilities, and should make it part of our routines to do so.