Agencies say expect more hunger, homelessness with cash assistance cuts

PHOENIX - From top to bottom, the pantry at the Cultural Cup Food Bank is stocked. 

Many of the clients there are parents.

"When children are involved parents will do what they have to do to make sure they have what they need," said Sabiah Keskin, Executive Director at Cultural Cup Food Bank in Phoenix.

Keskin worries these shelves will go bare come July when 1,600 families have their cash assistance, known as TANF OR Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, cut.

"It's hard in the first place. They're getting food stamps. Now they're not getting the cash," Keskin said.

The cuts include 2,700 kids.

It's part of $4 million dollars in state budget cuts.

The reason Keskin opened the food bank is because she used to come to places like this to get food. 

And she used to get assistance from the exact same program that's getting cut.

"So when people come here and need food, I know. I pretty much lived off of this place," said Keskin. 

Cynthia Zwick runs the Arizona Community Action Association. 

She said expect more homelessness and more people going hungry.

"The program is intended to help families reenter or enter the workforce and become self-sufficient, so what this does is kind of pull the rug out from under them.” 

And once that rug is pulled, Zwick and Keskin believe it can be even harder to get back on your feet.

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