Updated: 10/09/2013 5:13 PM
Created: 10/09/2013 4:25 PM WHEC.com
By: Joangel Concepcion
It's day nine of the government shut down. With no end in sight, more and more people are starting to feel the pinch, including people in the Rochester area. A major food bank is now being affected by the shutdown and that means hundreds of people in need could go hungry.
Foodlink distributed almost 17 million pounds of food from July 2012 to June 2013. Two point one million came from the USDA, that's 13 percent of the supply. Since the shutdown, the USDA has put all deliveries on hold. The news isn't good for the 450 partner agencies that receive meals from Foodlink.
Organizers say there is an extreme need in our area already and when you add on a government shutdown, it creates a perfect storm. Right now, it's looking very cloudy at local shelters. But organizers say it's not raining just yet.
Organizers at Loop Ministries in downtown Rochester say their pantry room is usually filled to the brim. The food is flying off the shelves and it's been that way for the last nine days. Organizers are worried they won't have enough food for families in need. They've even been forced to create a plan of action. As of Wednesday, the pantry is limiting food supply to families by zip code. They had the terrible task of telling many families they would no longer be able to supply them with meals. They are pointing people to other places they can go-until the shutdown ends. Loop Ministries serves more than 750 people in our area.
Daryl Staneck, Loop Ministries Executive Director, said, “It's just gut wrenching. These are real lives, not statistics and it's going to impact them and their children and their elderly family member and their disabled family members in profound ways.”
Other organizations in our area are also worried. The executive for The Center for Youth said the organization is also in jeopardy. It receives 80 percent of its funding from government dollars. They haven't been hit yet.
To find out how you can help Foodlink, click here.