DETROIT (WWJ) – Area food banks and other places that help the hungry could be getting busier soon, as the state’s lifetime welfare limits take effect Saturday.
At the Ecumenical Theological Seminary on Woodward Avenue near Mack, people line up once a week for a home-cooked meal, with some people waiting a half-an-hour for a sit-down dinner. This week, the line for a hot meal snaked around the building.
At the Seminary, WWJ City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas met Gary Jennings, who is among those helped by the “Everyone Eats” program.
“This is good. It’s a good program. It helps, you know, the homeless and people who can’t afford food,” Jennings said.
John Parker was also among those who were waiting to have a decent meal.
“At the moment, I work part-time at a temporary service. When I’m working, I work good. But when I’m not, you know, I have to survive off of the means of what I can save,” Parker said.
People such as Jennings and Parker, along with those organizations helping to feed the needy, are not looking forward to October 1, when 41,000 people will lose their cash assistance benefits as the state’s lifetime welfare limits take effect.
“It’s not as bad right now as it’s going to be. They’re letting a lot of new people out of jail and I can see a lot of trouble happening from that. That’s going to add to the trouble,” Jennings said.
Many are worried the demand for food assistance is going to significantly outnumber the amount of resources available after the new welfare limits take effect.
Parker has just one message for Gov. Rick Snyder.
“Don’t do it, please don’t do it. We put you in there to help us. Don’t hurt us.”