Local food pantry could be impacted by US debt ceiling talks

·1 min read

The United States is on track to default on its loans if lawmakers can’t agree on hiking the spending cap.

House Republicans are willing to raise it by 1.5 trillion dollars, but that would mean some domestic programs would see cuts. Channel 9′s Anthony Kustura learned how Loaves and Fishes in south Charlotte would be affected.

The meals are distributed daily to 460 people across the city. Rich Custer is a volunteer who helps get the meals around town as part of the national Meals on Wheels program.

“It’s incredibly meaningful to the people we deliver to, and it’s been a blessing to me,” Custer said.

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There is no age requirement, so anyone who can’t purchase or prepare their own food is eligible. The need for the program keeps climbing, with Lovaes and Fishes serving 16% more people than last year.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in need, and at the same time our food drive numbers are just down, we’ve made it up through food purchases,” CEO Tina Postel said.

She said the nonprofit has spent more than $600,000 to buy its own food this year. Each meal costs around $5.

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“The thought of losing even a percentage point is critical for people in need,” Postel said.

Postel and other advocates just returned from Washington, D.C. to urge lawmakers to find other ways to save money. No matter what, Postel will focus on serving the community.

“I know they need to make budget cuts, but let’s not cut dinner, on the table, let’s cut somewhere else,” Postel said.

>> In the video at the top of the page, Kustura learns how Loaves and Fishes could be impacted by budget cuts in Washington.

(WATCH BELOW: Food pantry anticipates higher need after decrease in food stamp payments)