Heat or Eat- You Don’t Have to Choose!

Steuben County residents are feeling the impact of rising food prices along with the rest of the country. Low-income families spend a higher percent of their incomes on groceries including milk, eggs and bread and also rising gasoline and heating costs. Families may soon be facing a “Heat or Eat” dilemma – choosing between food and fuel.Food Stamps are the first line of defense against hunger in our community. The Food Stamp Program not only cushions the hardships on vulnerable people who face a constant struggle against hunger, but also provides a timely boost to our local economy. Every $5 in new food stamp benefits generates $9.20 in total community spending. Monthly food stamp benefits are spent in local grocery stores and at farmer’s markets, supporting our local retailers and farmers.Hunger reduces a child’s ability to learn, decreases a worker’s productive energy, and weakens an elderly person’s resistance to disease. Increasing awareness about and participation in the Food Stamp Program in Steuben County helps low-income families in our community put healthy food on the table while supporting local businesses. Improving access to this valuable nutrition safety net benefits our entire community.In order to help eligible people get the nutrition they need, Catholic Charities of Steuben is one of 37 community-based agencies in New York State that have been awarded funding through the Nutrition Outreach and Education Program (NOEP) by the Nutrition Consortium of NYS, an anti-hunger advocacy organization. Through outreach and education activities, NOEP coordinators throughout the state helped 232,000 working families last year to get food stamps.For information about NOEP, please contact:Kate O’Neill, NOEP Coordinator1-800-724-2841Catholic Charities of Steuben

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