Food Pantries Report Spike In People Seeking Assistance Amid Ongoing Partial Government Shutdown
The Dayton Foodbank is reporting an uptick in new clients seeking emergency food assistance as the partial government shutdown continues into its fourth week.
Federal lawmakers recently approved a measure giving the hundreds of thousands of affected workers across the United States back pay when the government reopens, as NPR reports.
But Foodbank spokesperson Lora Davenport says furloughed federal workers and contractors have been living without a paycheck since before the Christmas holidays, and many are having trouble making ends meet and feeding their families.
"We want to make sure that people know there are resources out there so that they are not just trying to make something come out of thin air, but we also need to make sure that we are letting our legislators know that it's really important that we can reopen the government, so people don’t have to make these kinds of decisions of whether they are going to eat tonight or not," she says.
Davenport says the shutdown is also affecting people who rely on monthly SNAP food assistance. USDA officials recently announced they’ll keep the food-stamp program running through February.
The Foodbank, Davenport says, is operating without its regular federal reimbursements that help to pay for the cost of storing, and transporting food to dozens of food pantries in the Dayton region, reimbursements that amount to around $14,000 a month.
The Foodbank typically serves 120,000 people in Montgomery, Greene and Preble Counties, including many seniors, children and people with disabilities.