Food banks are preparing for increases in visits after emergency pandemic-era SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) food stamp benefits ended March 1.
Food stocks are already stretched thin as visits have doubled in some areas, leading food banks to make tough decisions: limiting grocery items visitors can take home, alternating goods between distribution services and reducing variety.
Donations are down and government funds are in flux, leaving food banks to campaign for enough funds to feed a growing amount of hungry people in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan Islands communities.
Take a walk through the Bellingham Food Bank and the Helping Hands Food Bank and hear from their operators as they balance dwindling stocks, making do with what they’ve got.
— Reported by Kai Uyehara