SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)– Erin’s Angels is a nonprofit organization that gives weekend food assistance to kids who receive free or reduced lunch at school. Their food pantry is located inside of Michael A. Maroun Elementary school in Oswego County.
Social workers at the school communicate with Erin’s Angels to let them know how many students in each class are in need of food for the weekend.
“So say that Mrs. Smith has ten kids that need it… we package up ten bags and put it in a bin for her and then she puts it in their bag quietly. We don’t know names, everything is anonymous, and it just goes to those kids who need it,” said Sheila Dion, the founder of Erin’s Angels.
According to Dion, those students that receive subsidized lunch are those whose families rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
“We service about on average about 75 kids every weekend. So every weekend we need 75 boxes of mac and cheese, 75 cans of soup, 75 packets of oatmeal, 75 granola bars and fruit snacks because it’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner for both days and two snacks,” said Dion.
The Trump administration budget proposal is planning to make cuts to SNAP in April. These cuts will affect those who are unemployed and those who work less than 20 hours per week.
With the cuts to SNAP coming soon, Dion believes that there will be an even bigger need for kids to have food when they go home daily and not just for the weekend.
“We certainly will ramp up our fundraising and be able to help them as well,” said Dion.