Government shutdown impacting food banks

Government shutdown impacting food banks

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Thursday is the day 27 of the government shutdown.

Food is a staple that many people, especially furloughed government employees, are running out of because they simply don’t have the money to feed themselves or children.

Second Harvest of South Georgia staff say the rates of food insecurity are already very high, and the government shutdown is adding additional stress to many families.

Spokesperson for the organization, Eliza McCall, said the food bank is accustomed to dealing with great need all the time.

She said spanning the 30 counties of Southwest Georgia, one in four people are considered food insecure and for children it’s considered even worse as one in three children are food insecure.

Just the other day she received three phone calls asking if federal employees qualify for assistance.

Second Harvest gives out food to those in need (Source: WALB)
Second Harvest gives out food to those in need (Source: WALB)

And they do not turn away people in need.

“We’re on a bit of a lag. Our partner agencies will see it first because they do the day to day. And we are beginning now to get calls that we know are specifically about federal employees,” McCall explained.

Their biggest concern is if the shutdown continues for even longer there could become an increased need for food among furloughed workers.

“We stand ready to help these federal employees, just as we do with anyone else in the community needing food assistance. So our operations will continue and we will deal with the increased demand as it comes,” said McCall.

Two of Second Harvest's programs are federally funded in partnership with the USDA.

Those are the Senior Hunger Box Program and Kids Cafe.

McCall said right now they have food to pack February boxes but not past the end of next month.

If you need food assistance, you can go to their website at feedingsga.org/gethelp or call Second Harvest of South Georgia at 229-244-2678.

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