Driving by Starbucks this morning on my way to work, I thought about stopping to get a latte when I heard on the radio that due to the government shutdown, Michigan residents relying on SNAP (formerly ‘food stamps’) or those who are missing paychecks due to the government shut-down are having an even harder time putting food on their tables. Yad Ezra is here to help!
Yad Ezra opened its doors in 1990 to address the kosher food needs of low-income families living in SE Michigan. The founders hoped that most of our client families were able to receive SNAP benefits, but knew that the benefit would not be anywhere near enough to cover the cost of a month’s worth of food. The presumption was that Yad Ezra, as a supplemental food pantry, would fill in the “food gap” between monthly SNAP allocations. And, for those not receiving SNAP and/or were food insecure, the monthly distribution of groceries for client families would help them stretch their already stretched budgets.
In the now fifth week of the government shutdown, more families are being impacted by not receiving a paycheck and are having difficulty making ends meet. As an emergency food provider, Yad Ezra’s leadership is prepared to help families struggling to put food on their tables. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has decided to issue February SNAP benefits in January to 1.2 million Michigan residents benefiting from the program due to the shutdown. This early food assistance benefit is not an additional one, rather, it is due to not knowing what will happen in February with government agencies and their ability to provide services. At this time, there are no plans to provide benefits in the month of February. Recipients are encourage to “budget” their funds so that they last through the entire month.
For these families impacted by the government shutdown, stopping at Starbucks for a $4 latte is not an option. Coming to Yad Ezra to receive three weeks worth of healthy and desirable food, toiletries and household items is an option. We are here and our doors are open five days a week!
For people who have been impacted by the government shut-down, call 248-548-3663 or check out www.yadezra.org.
Lea Luger is executive director of Yad Ezra.