Govt. shutdown cause food pantries to scramble for increased need

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In Taylor, there's a food pantry where close to a thousand people go for food each month. Many are senior citizens, while many more are families with children.

Families like Jaclyn Clements and her 2-year-old son Zayne.

"If we didn't have this people would be hungry. They wouldn't have food," she said. "I literally live check-to-check, it is hard. Especially with a 2-year-old and you're a single mother."

Jaclyn has a job. She's also she's a single mom struggling to make ends meet. She receives government assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, but funding for those programs is in serious jeopardy - the longer the government shutdown drags on.

"There's no way to prepare - you didn't give us time to prepare or anything - you just took it away like it was nothing," she said. "What's everybody going to do when we don't have anything anymore."

Over 39 million Americans just like Jaclyn rely on Food Stamp benefits each month. It is money that government officials have said could start to run out in February if the shutdown continues. It has food pantries like Fish and Loaves scrambling to get additional donations in preparation for many more people potentially in need.

"We've heard cases of seniors cutting back on medication so they can purchase food," said Mary Hollens of Fish and Loaves. "But it's hard to cut back on food when you have babies, infants, toddlers, senior citizens with specific nutritional needs, those are things you don't get a do-over on."

Hollens is the executive director of Fish and Loaves. In addition to donations, they already spend $20,000-$25,000 each month to purchase food for those in need. If benefits run out, they'll need even more help from the community to help others.

"It's going to be very daunting for an organization like Fish and Loaves to bring in those extra dollars," she said.

So how can you help, make a donation, have a food drive at your work or place of worship, donate online by clicking here. Https://www.Flcfp.Org/  

Every little bit is going to help.