MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A government shutdown is averted at this time, however, if we see a shutdown after the 45-day provisional period, an estimated 15% of Alabama’s population relies on the government for food aid.
That’s according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which says that as many as 700,000 Alabamians rely on federal food assistance programs.
That’s why food distributors are moving forward across North Alabama, preparing for what may or may not happen.
“If a crisis looms, we want to make sure we are prepared. We never want to have to turn people away,” said Shirley Schofield, CEO of the North Alabama Food Bank.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP as well as SNAP for Women, Infants and Children or WIC could have been affected.
More than 700,000 people in Alabama rely on federal assistance to feed their families. A shutdown could have disrupted funding for these programs, meaning these families could lose their assistance.
Food aid funding is not expected to be affected in October. However, if the shutdown were to extend beyond this point, SNAP and WIC could be at risk. That’s why Shirley Schofield of the North Alabama Food Bank says she’s here to help the community.
“We have already seen an increase in need in our community. “It’s just another potential that you know can impact our families, and we just want to make sure that everyone knows that we’re prepared, and we’ll make sure that we have food for families.” , Schofield told News 19.
Fran Fluhler of Manna House says local food banks need to come together to help feed those in need.
“We need to do what we’re doing right now, which is churches, civic groups, pantries and other organizations come together to help provide for those who are less fortunate,” Fluhler said. “We have plenty of food and we always give fresh food, meat and vegetables. I think if a family is looking for that, we can definitely provide that.
For those who need it or know someone in need, the Food Bank of North Alabama and Manna House distribute food weekly.