AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — At the beginning of March, SNAP recipients saw a decrease in benefits, due to federal guidelines.

Children and seniors are considered to be two of the most vulnerable populations potentially impacted by the change.

Snack Pak 4 Kids, whose mission is to help children experiencing food insecurity shared that they are prepared for a potential influx of need.

“We have the resources, we have the tools, we have the bags packed,” said Dyron Howell, Executive Director of Snack Pak 4 Kids. “We’ve developed our model to accommodate when changes happen.”

Snack Pak does not require that students meet certain criteria to receive food. The only requirement is that the students, parent, teacher or counselor notify Snack Pak of the need.

Each week Snack Pak delivers bags of food to schools, and on Friday the bags are sent home with kids in the program.

“We’ve made it very simple and very easy for our students to access this program, if they’re in high school, there’s an online website, where they can order we have online grocery stores that all our high schools here and enroll,” said Howell. “They can just go on very anonymously, very discreetly order what they need.”

The program is also open to middle and elementary school students.

“If they’re in middle school, they can do the same thing, explained Howell. “If they’re in elementary, they can ask their teacher, or their parent can ask their teacher.”

According to Howell, they are serving 600 more kids this year than they were around the same time last year. The increase in need began even before SNAP benefits changed.

According to Snack Pak 4 Kids, 94% of teachers say the program is beneficial and 68% say it improves performance.

Howell continued, “We need to be there for them. If we’ve got a program that our teachers have identified as improving academic performance, this is a great chance for us to continue to invest and to make sure that we’re there for our kids.”

In addition to children being impacted by the change those 50 and older are also vulnerable to reduction impacts.

Catholic Charites Hunger Project, recently expanded to helping people 50 and older. The two qualifications to receive assistance are the age requirement and being on a low or fixed income.

Paperwork to receive help is minimum and potential applicants must provide their I.D., proof of income and proof of residency.

“It’s a debt-to-income ratio, so we’ll look at what you have coming in, we look at what you have going out with bills,” said Chris Flores, Catholic Charities, Director of Community Service. “What you have left for the month is how we determine what your allotment is for the month.”

The Hunger Projects store is open Tuesday through Thursday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the hours are 9 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. On Wednesday they are open 10 a.m.- 11:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Flores added that the number of organizations helping the community is what defines the community.

“When you take care of the person who is in the worst situation or the worst position that they’ve been in their lives, when those people are taken care of, I think it shows a lot about the community because they’re willing to take care of that person,” said Flores. “They’re willing to take care of everybody.”

If you need assistance in enrolling in the program, you can contact Chris Flores at CFLORES@CCTXP.ORG. Or call 806-376-4571, ext 206.

Both organizations say the best way for the community to provide support is through financial donations.

For more information on how to receive benefits or volunteer with the organization, you can visit the Snack Pak 4 Kids and Catholic Charities Hunger Project website.

For the latest Amarillo news and regional updates, check with and tune in to KAMR Local 4 News at 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 p.m. and Fox 14 News at 9:00 p.m. CST.