Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Budget Crisis - CHOW

Budget Crisis Results In Less Cash For Non-Profits

More than six thousand vetoes of member items in the State budget, that is, items which legislators request for specific programs, means less money for food pantries and soup kitchens.

"It's literally taking food off the table, we're going to have to find ways to offset that," said Ed Blaine, Director of Broome County Council of Churches CHOW program.

CHOW stands to lose $75 hundred it relies on to buy food for its pantries.

Catholic Charities will also have to go without that same amount for its food programs.

"That's about 53,000 pounds of food and about 6,300 meals and about 450 people that won't get served," said Lori Accardi, Catholic Charities' Director.

Member item cuts are just the latest blow dealt to local non-profits.

CHOW is already reeling from the more than three month late budget, as it usually receives monthly payments from a grant through the State Health Department.

"We haven't been reimbursed money from that grant that is due to us, so we're like $10 thousand in the hole due to that," Blaine said.

And with less money coming in from the State, some groups say they'll have to rely more on the local community in order to compensate for the money lost.

"It's amazing despite the economy, the generosity of the community and we'll be doing everything we can possibly do to be creative and to pursue other resources," Accardi said.

But the organizations say they wish it didn't have to come down to that.

"I understand the hard times, it's exactly during the hard times that we need to not cut the programs that are picking up the slack for people who are in need," Blaine said.

And until funding is restored these groups will have to do more with less, something they seem to be getting quite accustomed to.

***FOX 40's Chris Whalen Reporting***

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