Attributed to Kate Leone, Chief Government Relations Officer
Washington - “A significant portion of the federal government has now been closed for 26 days. During that time, our network of member food banks has been preparing for the possibility of an extended shutdown and bracing for a resulting increase in the number of families and individuals who need food assistance.
“We are now seeing the adverse consequences of the shutdown first hand, as 800,000 federal employees and thousands more contractors have missed their first paycheck. Many of these public servants face a new reality of needing help to feed their families. Our network of food banks has stepped up to help and will continue to do so, but we are mindful of the risk a continued shutdown poses to the demand for assistance and to food bank operations in the face of increased need and an absence of federal funding.
“The number of already food insecure Americans who will lose their monthly food assistance if the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) runs out of funds is nearly 50 times larger than the entire number of federal employees who have been furloughed or are working without pay. And the loss of food assistance would be unprecedented – at least one billion meals would likely be lost in March from the plates of children, veterans, and seniors. Food banks and other charitable organizations cannot fill the gap if the 38 million people who depend on SNAP lose their benefits because the government is not reopened before February allotments end.
“This shutdown must end immediately - before irreversible harm is done to millions of our most vulnerable neighbors.”
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About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.