Local families may have harder time affording food if partial government shutdown drags on

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — People across the nation will be tuning in to watch President Donald Trump address the country Tuesday night. His prime time speech is airing amid a more than two-week long partial government shutdown.

If the shutdown drags on, people receiving food assistance could feel the effects by next month.

A spokesperson from the Department Of Social Services office in Greensboro, where people apply for SNAP, told FOX8 people likely wouldn’t be impacted until February. He declined to do an interview because he didn’t want people to worry about something that might not happen.

Others can’t help but be concerned.

“It’s really going to be sad,” said Jackqueline Wintons, a Greensboro resident. “It’s really going to be hard.”

Wintons receives SNAP benefits.

“I feel for mothers with children, because they are the ones that really depend on this program to make ends meet, and senior citizens,” Wintons said.

An employee at the Renaissance Community Coop in Greensboro said people working at the store haven’t noticed any changes in people using their benefits.

Greensboro Urban Ministry’s food pantry also hasn’t seen a change yet.

Mark Sumerford, the director of programs, says not only will people losing benefits likely come in more if the shutdown continues, but so will people who have stopped getting a paycheck. He’s seen it before during previous government shutdowns.

“People who haven’t needed to come to us before but when they don’t have the money to pay their rent or utilities then they look for a way to pay for those resources,” Sumerford said.

If that is the case, the Greensboro Urban Ministry will need the community’s help.

“We will need to ask the community to assist us with donations of food or financial assistance,” Sumerford said.

FOX8 also checked in with Guilford County Schools to see how the partial government shutdown could impact school nutrition, which is funded by the USDA. The director of school nutrition told us there could be an effect, but only if the shutdown lasts for several months. Your child will be fed through the end of this school year.

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