HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – Texas Health and Human Services is extending its funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for the month of April.

More than $318 Million will be distributed to SNAP recipients, that’s on top of more than $6.4 Billion already given out since the start of the pandemic.

But with food costs continuing to rise Salvation Army of Harlingen tells ValleyCentral that it is causing more trouble for those in need.

“One of the big things we see are senior citizens, our senior citizens’ community they really struggle because their food stamps are very low and their income is very limited,” said Captain Benjamin Duele.

The Salvation Army relies on donations to help meet demand. But the organization is already preparing to help more people in need of food with high prices posing a challenge to many families.

“Everything is going up but a lot of the people’s wages who are working or are trying to provide for themselves, those wages aren’t really increasing all that much,” Duele said. “So we are continuing to see the need of individuals who need food and I don’t think it is going to stop.” 

Loaves and Fishes in Harlingen is also giving out food to those in need. Executive Director Victor Rivera tells ValleyCentral that the demand has not been as high compared to the last two years.

“In 2022 the start of the year so far there has been a steady flow, it hasn’t been as significantly high as the previous year but we have noticed that there is still this need to have a supplementary source of food,” Rivera said.

But the high cost of food is also impacting how much food the shelter can buy and can also impact the donations they get.

“Food cost just for even our meals for the outside community has gone up so we are monitoring,” Rivera said. ” We are comparing prices just like any of our citizens who have to find the best rates at different stores.”  

Both The Salvation Army and Loaves and Fishes in Harlingen are open to providing any help to the community. Anyone needing assistance can show up at their locations during operating hours.

Salvation Army of Harlingen – 201 E. Monroe Ave. – Open from 9 AM – 3:30 PM

Loaves & Fishes of the RGV – 514 S. E St. – Open from 8 AM – 5 PM