AIDS Foundation Houston has announced changes in its Stone Soup food assistance program to more effectively utilize scarce financial resources.
“Ryan White funding does not consider ‘food pantry/home delivery meals’ a core medical service,” AFH chief executive officer, Kelly McCann, said in an October 19 statement to the press. “Therefore, effective immediately, Houston’s Resource Group and the Department of State Health Services have changed the eligibility requirements of this service category, which funds our Stone Soup Food Assistance Program.”
Prior to this change in the Standards of Care, the program served approximately 1,200 individuals who had a positive HIV/AIDS diagnosis, had an income eligibility of 125 percent of federal poverty guidelines, and lived inside the Houston service delivery area. Stone Soup Food Assistance Program clients must now also have a symptomatic HIV/AIDS diagnosis as certified by a medical provider.
McCann anticipates that approximately 30 percent of AFH’s current Stone Soup Food Pantry clients will become ineligible.
“We wish we could continue to serve everyone in our community who needs the assistance of our Stone Soup Food Pantry, but our funding realities don’t allow that,” McCann continued. “AFH will work with our clients who are no longer eligible and refer them to other sources of food and nutrition. We appreciate your support as we make these changes.” – by Nancy Ford