The United States government has been partially shut down for 28 days and counting. Indiana has an estimated 5,167 federal employees
who are struggling to make ends meet without their paychecks. On top of that, federal contractors are also not getting paid.
These workers are going without the paycheck they need to feed their families. Brianna Henderson, our SNAP Outreach Coordinator, assisted one of the contracted employees this morning at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry.
The gentleman works for a cleaning company with a government contract. Prior to the shutdown, he was working about 60 hours a week. Unfortunately, he has worked just 30 hours this month and needs assistance to feed his family.
He visited the pantry to find food and to apply for SNAP benefits for himself and his 15 year old daughter. He said that this is usually the busy season for him at work, but now he is struggling to pay his bills and put food on the table. He asked about emergency food stamps because he needs the help immediately.
While we hope the shutdown will end soon, every day compounds the problem for these families and could affect household budgets for months to come.
Yesterday, we saw the first of those families coming to Gleaners for food assistance. While others may have come before, for the first time 15 new pantry clients identified themselves as being affected by the government shutdown.
If the shutdown continues, it will affect countless families, kids, seniors, and veterans who use SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, to put food on their tables. The WIC program (Women, Infants and Children Food and Nutrition Service) and the Free and Reduced Lunch program for school children will also be at risk.
We're keeping a close eye on what lies ahead and preparing for it. Below are some ways you can help us meet the increased demand we are seeing.
What can you do to help?
Thank you for your support of hungry Hoosier families.
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana