Food pantries brace for shutdown impact
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
DENMARK, WI --The shutdown is affecting many local programs and some area food banks which receive federal funding. Larger organizations like the Salvation Army are also preparing for a trickle down impact.
For some local pantries it could mean a shortage of food in the next few weeks, as many depend on food supplies from thhe USDA.
Terri Gajeski, pantry coordinator at the Denmark Community Cupboard, worries the government shutdown will cut off food they rely on to feed hundreds in Brown County.
"I don't understand how the government could let this happen," said Gajeski.
Pantry fridges are bare. They are waiting on milk and 50 whole chickens to be delivered in two weeks. If not, the pantry will be stretched very thin.
"Im going to have to start purchasing more protein and the basics. That will have to come from money saved for the future," said Gajeski.
As for the Salvation Army, shelves at their pantry are stocked. Food deliveries from the government came in right before the shutdown. Payments for the housing grant program for October are in too.
But if the shutdown continues, leaders say they would rely on reserve funds and community donations.
"Hopefully again those would get us through until federal dollars come back," said director of Social Services for the Salvation Army in Brown County, Nan Pahl.
For all, an uncertain future, as lawmakers try to settle their differences.
On an average year, the federal government supplies about 8.5 million dollars worth of food to pantries across the state of Wisconsin.