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      Government money for food banks maybe slashed

      The number of American families concerned about where their next meal will come from continues to grow as the economy sputters along and food banks try to cobble together what donations they can.But keeping shelves stocked may be more difficult this year as federal support for The Emergency Food Assistance Program is expected to be slashed by more than half. A bipartisan group of 21 U.S. senators is urging Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to use existing funding to purchase more food for the program. Last year, federal funding for the program totaled more than $300 million, which was used to buy commodities such as poultry and pork. U.S. Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico says food banks need resources to ensure they can continue to serve as a lifeline for families that are in need.