Friday was a day that many people who count on food stamps have been dreading -- the day the federal government announced there would be a five-percent reduction in food stamp benefits.
It is the result of a temporary financial boost to the program running out before Congress had a chance to consider extending it.
For the family of Sandra Sanchez of Corpus Christi, it's going to make things harder. They didn't know the benefits were about to be cut.
"That's not, that's not right, because us people that really, really need it," Sanchez said. "How are we going to do that?"
Sanchez is a client of the Food Bank of Corpus Christi. She said the new cuts in the food stamp program will make it tougher on her family just to have enough food for the month.
"It's taking away from us, and they can't work," Sanchez said. "I mean, it's not right. That's, that's hurting us the most, because it's us three, and that's not right."
Sanchez and her daughter, Paula, along with her daughter's boyfriend, go to the Food Bank once a month and get as much food as they can. The $79 in food stamps they get each month doesn't feed the family.
"I think it's going to be a little bit bad, I guess," Paula Sanchez said.
Paula is only able to work part-time, and she hasn't been able to find work. Her mother is plagued by several ailments and is living on food stamps and disability.
"$79 is nothing. That's only a week, or a week and a half of groceries. That's it," Sanchez said. "And I can't afford no Thanksgiving for my children."
Helen Escamilla is an outreach coordinator at the Food Bank. She helps clients apply for food stamps, child healthcare and other assistance. She said clients are just discovering the food stamp cuts.
"They're going to be cut this month starting today, Nov. 1," Escamilla said. "It's about an average of $9 per person. A family of four will be cut $36 per month."
Escamilla said that with the approaching holidays, she expects to hear from many Food Bank clients who are barely making it now between help from food pantries and food stamps.
Sandra Sanchez said there will not be much of a holiday again this year.
"It's hurting me and my children because I'm not going to be able to do that this year," Sanchez said. "This is the second year, and it's hard on me right now. And me being sick and everything else, I'm struggling too much."
The Food Bank of Corpus Christi serves 11 counties. To find the nearest food pantry in your community, you can call the Food Bank at 361-887-6291.
There's a local campaign aimed at getting more food to the Food Bank of Corpus Christi at this crucial time. It's called Food for Life, and is organized by the Coastal Bend Blood Center.
For every pint of blood donated to the Center, a can of food goes to the Food Bank.
On Friday, cadets with the Corpus Christi Police Department's training academy were at the Blood Center to donate.
Also, the day-long Share Your Christmas telethon benefiting the Food Bank is coming up on the first Friday in December.
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