By Joel Hillan
DENVER (CBS4) – The President’s proposed 2018 budget would cut the amount of money going to Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) by almost a third, putting more pressure on local food pantries to fill the hunger gap.
Nearly half of the individuals who come to Community Ministry in southwest Denver are on SNAP. They use the food pantry to supplement those benefits.
They are concerned about what the proposed cuts would mean to them and the services they have come to count on. The anxiety that comes with not having enough money for food can be paralyzing.
“It feels like your chest is going to burst. You feel anxious. You can’t breathe, and then you’re pacing. You’re wondering where you’re going to get the next meal from. It’s just a terrible feeling,” said Frances Carrillo.
Carrillo is a widow, raising six grandkids. She retired in 2015 after working for 50 years.
“Never thought I would find myself in this situation. I’ve always been able to manage my household, my finances and, no, I never thought I would end up like this; struggling,” said Carrillo.
She now turns to Community Ministry to help put food on the table.
“We provide basic, emergency food and clothing to families in the southwest Denver area,” said Joyce Neufeld, Executive Director of Community Ministry.
Neufeld started at the organization as a volunteer. She now helps facilitate help for over 40,000 individuals each year.
“Sometimes I don’t have the money to buy groceries and try to put gas in the car and get around. Sometimes I don’t even have enough money to put gas in the car,” said Linda Esquibel.
She also looks to Community Ministry for help. A widow, she finds herself alone, living off just $900 a month
“Thank God there are communities like this that help us. Don’t be ashamed if you need help,” Esquibel said.
If you would like to donate to Community Ministry, you can make a donation at their website: