ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The immediate impact of the partial government shutdown is being felt by 1,600 federal employees in southeast Minnesota. Those workers are either currently furloughed or required to work without pay, but help is coming from one non-profit organization.
Channel One Regional Food Bank announced it is ready to help those 1,600 impacted or anyone who needs help during the shutdown.
The USDA announced on Tuesday that all federal nutrition programs will be funded through next month. That means Channel One itself has not yet been impacted by the partial shutdown but will be if it continues into February. While the USDA’s announcement is positive and critical for those facing food insecurity, it is essential for these programs to continue to operate beyond February.
Many of the affected federal workers may qualify for Channel One’s services since qualification is based on weekly income, not yearly.
Channel One’s development manager said there can be a stigma when it comes to asking for help with food, but explained there’s no reason to be ashamed.
“We definitely know it can be difficult to reach out for help. We’re there for them. That’s really how we live by our mission, and we hope they reach out of us if they feel need,” said Matthieu Lynch.
SNAP benefits and program administration will be fully funded for January and February. However, the USDA does not have enough funds to fully cover March benefits. More than 39 million individuals facing hunger use SNAP.
No additional funds are available to support the Commodity Assistance Programs (CAP), including the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), and administrative grants (storage and distribution funding).
TEFAP and CSFP
Food deliveries should continue for January through March 2019 for orders confirmed prior to the shutdown, though no new orders can be placed during the shutdown.
Child Nutrition Programs
Child Nutrition Programs are funded through March, including school breakfast and lunch, summer and afterschool meals.
State WIC agencies have sufficient funding for benefits and operations to stay open through the end of February.
For further information about how services operate, how to sign up, and how to locate a food shelf, call (507) 424-1707.