Government Shutdown Affects Mid-Michigan's Poor - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Government Shutdown Affects Mid-Michigan's Poor

As the government shutdown persists, local agencies continue to suffer. Among those agencies include those that serve the poor in the mid-Michigan community.

Shelby Jenks has had to supplement her food assistance by visiting this food pantry in Lansing.

"I really do count on it," said Jenks.

But she may not be able to rely on the help much longer if the shutdown continues.

"What we're hearing is any future orders are up in the air," said Kim Harkness, operations director at the Greater Lansing Food Bank.

Harkness says during the shutdown officials in Washington D.C. can't process GLFB's food orders because they're furloughed.

"If things are not in the system now, they're not getting received, they're not getting ordered." Harkness said.

One hundred forty pantries in seven counties rely on the food bank's food shipments.

Harkness says the problem will become worse as families lose their individual welfare benefits during the shutdown, forcing individual pantries to service more people with less food.

Sharon Miller, director of Our Savior Lutheran pantry, worries about families who rely on the pantry, especially those with children.

"They say lady are we going to have food, I'm hungry. That just rips your heart out," said Miller.

"I would be really heart-struck," said Jenks at the prospect of not having the pantry available to her.

Jenks hopes her elected officials in Washington will end the shutdown soon so she won't have to worry about where her next meal will come from.


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