Updated: 11/12/2013 7:36 AM KSTP.com By: Naomi Pescovitz
Nationwide, food shelves are dealing with higher demand after a recent cut in food stamp benefits. Starting Nov. 1, 47 million Americans saw their federal benefits slashed because a benefit from the 2009 stimulus expired.
But one local food shelf says they will actually be able to offer more to their visitors, thanks to a generous donation.
Alerus Mortgage and its president, Steve Sherwood, donated several thousand dollars to PRISM, a food shelf in Golden Valley. Visitors can now take home 37 pounds of food per visit, instead of the 26 pounds they were taking home before.
"This would be items such as margarine and eggs and milk. We can ensure that we have flour, sugar and oil, staples that we don't get donated in quantities large enough to be able to respond to the more than 500 families who come through the food shelf every single month," said Michelle Ness, Executive Director of PRISM.
Leodegaria Negrete shops at PRISM once a month.
"We work but the money is not a lot, so with the food that we get here, at least we can have for like one month," Negrete said.
Though Negrete doesn't know the person who made the donation, she does know the kindness of a stranger will go a long way.
"I would say thank you, for him, for giving the money," Negrete said. "I think it's really nice for him to do that."
Sherwood says he hopes the gift inspires others to give back to their communities.
One in seven Americans rely on the food stamp program. A family of four will now get about $36 less a month.