ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Tens of thousands of people in New Mexico could be in dire straights soon, because their foods stamps could face steep cuts.
Congress is thinking about cutting $4 billion from the program.
The Road Runner Food Bank in Albuquerque provides food to about 40,000 people across the state every week.That number is expected to grow with more cuts.
The bill is headed to the senate and if it passes, the food bank would receive less money for food to give out to the hundreds of pantries throughout the state.
Pantries generally provide a household with a week's worth of meals. However, with not as much food, families will have to endure two to three days without receiving any food.
On Monday, there was a constant flow of people coming in to receive boxes full of food crackers, pasta, trail mix etc. The director says a lot of the people who come in have been affected by the poor economy and are unemployed. Many others are elderly or disabled.
Just this past year, there has been a 50 percent increase in customers.
If congress decides to make those cuts, the food pantries will be looking for help.
“Everybody in the food chain in this city is going to need to step up and help us to fill the empty bellies we're trying to fill," said David Whitely of the Rio Grande Food Project.
Food Pantry staff say that right now, our state has the most childhood hunger in the entire country.
New Mexico’s overall food security is also below the national average.
The U.S. House passed the bill, even though democrats and some republicans were against it.
The senate is threatening to kill it.
Officials say the Bernalillo County Treasurer Office is closed Friday after a suspicious substance was found in the office.
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