food pantries

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

People who use food stamps to purchase groceries should get their shopping done early this weekend, as the system will be down Sunday morning to go through an upgrade.

The state is switching providers for its public assistance program, now known as SNAP benefits. To do so, benefit recipients debit like cards won’t work from midnight Saturday until noon Sunday.

So the state’s benefit provider office is encouraging people to do their shopping beforehand.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO

With winter officially here, New York’s food pantries and soup kitchens are feeling the strain of feeding the hungry, especially after two key benefit cuts from the federal government.

The FOCUS food pantry, sponsored by six Albany area churches, is located just a block away from the state Capitol.

Food pantries and soup kitchens say they are reluctantly becoming a permanent part of the nation’s safety net for the poor. In a new report on New York’s charitable food distribution system, the groups say it is government that needs to step in and lend a helping hand.

It is CROP Walk weekend in central New York. The annual walk, sponsored by Church World Service to raise money for the hungry, comes at a time when the need is great.