Bronx food pantry says they are serving over 3 million meals after the pandemic

Bronx food pantry says they are serving over 3 million meals after the pandemic

NEW YORK – A food pantry in the Bronx says they’re seeing more people show up for help than ever before. They say that with the recent cuts to SNAP benefits due to the end of additional COVID-19 funding for the program, it makes things more difficult for lower-income families.

It may look like an abundance of food in Wenibe De Los Santos’ pantry, but the 49-year-old is stocking up on food if she can’t afford anything in the near future. She says the fear comes from inflation and how high her rent could be.

“We eat the right portion, don’t throw anything out, don’t waste anything,” De Los Santos said.

De Los Santos is one of the thousands of people in the Bronx who receive SNAP benefits and visit the food pantry once a month at the nonprofit Part of the Solution, or POTS.

“This is for one month because there are so many of us… before they give more,” De Los Santos said, showing CBS2 the bag of canned food she got for the month of May.

She says the demand for food in the pantry is the highest she’s seen in the ten years since she left.

POTS explains that the pandemic worsened food insecurity in the district. Before the pandemic, they say their pantry served 30,000 people, and just last year it served 37,000 people. But they say the frequency of visits has tripled.

“Can you imagine us going from one million meals to 3.2 in less than two years?” said Taina Rodriguez, Associate Director for Food and Dignity Programs at POTS.

Like De Los Santos, POTS says the customers who come into the pantry are juggling what they have to pay for each month.

“They see their rent coming due and they need to keep that cash available to pay the rent,” said Christina Hanson, executive director of POTS.

“It’s sad that we become someone’s addiction because this is their only way to survive,” Rodriguez said.

“I’m scared because the rent is expensive for me,” De Los Santos said. She says her biggest fear is moving back into a shelter.

“Especially when you’re afraid of living on the streets,” De Los Santos said. “It is hard.”

The nonprofit POTS says it hopes SNAP benefits will increase in the future as recent cuts leave families struggling in the Bronx.

You can email Shosh with Bronx story ideas by CLICKING HERE.

Related posts

Burger King is giving away thousands of meals to Granite students


Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad) Recipe


Best Filipino food in Austin


Leave a Comment