Demand for Plattsburgh food shelf increasing - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Demand for Plattsburgh food shelf increasing

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Dorothy Latta is the coordinator of the Plattsburgh Interfaith Food Shelf, a volunteer emergency food pantry serving Clinton County. "All the money that's given to us goes towards putting food on somebody's plate," she said.

Congressman Bill Owens (D-New York) visited the food shelf after learning the need for its services may increase. "Given the recent activity under the Farm Bill, where we did cut Food Stamp allocations, I was thinking this may be something I'd like to see people become aware of," Owens said.

Latta says anybody who's hungry can come get food. "It's tough for people to come and ask for food.  A lot of people, that's not an easy thing to say -- they cant take care of themselves, so a lot of people are here because they need to be," she said.

People in need of food can come to the Plattsburgh Interfaith Food Shelf up to seven times a year, where they will be provided a few days worth of food. "Last year we fed around 22,000 thousand mouths," Latta said.

In 2013, 150,000 pounds of food was distributed, from a $138,000 budget -- mostly from local donations. "About $25,000 in grant money from New York State -- from a hunger assistance program, and the remainder of the money came from the community," Latta said.

And with the Food Stamp cuts, Latta expects there will be even more mouths to feed in 2014.
"Last year it was increased about 15 percent from the previous year, so cost of food going up, number of people going up. We just took a look to see what we think we'll need to pay," she said.

Latta says she's confident the community will continue to help out, either by providing food, or providing funds to purchase the food.

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