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Valley mission prepping for food stamp decrease

Workers at the Phoenix Rescue Mission prepare for an influx of hungry Arizonans. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- A Valley rescue mission is getting ready for more possible customers because 47 million Americans began receiving fewer food stamps Friday.

In 2009, Congress passed a temporary financial boost to a nutrition program. That increased funding expired Friday and there's no sign that Congress will continue it, meaning millions of Americans are about to get fewer food stamps. For example, a family of four that received around $660 per month in food stamps will now get about $36 per month less.

Workers at the Phoenix Rescue Mission believe more people will come looking for help because of the cut.

"We have really prepared for about a 10 percent increase," said Nicole Pena, the mission's director of community outreach.

Pena said the mission knew this day was coming and workers been preparing for a while.

"We've been able to work with our private sector partners to get more food and really stock our shelves," she said. "We feel like we're ready."

Pena said if the mission sees a 20 percent or more increase in people needing help, it will start to feel the pinch.

For more information on the Phoenix Rescue Mission, click here or call (602) 233-3000.

About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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