For many, the impact of the recent government shutdown isn’t felt beyond the countless jokes on late night television. However, the recent shutdown has a significantly larger effect on the poor, and other groups that rely on government funded programs on a daily basis.
The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) assistance program is one of the many Federal Government programs that has been affected by the political turmoil in Washington D.C. WIC is a program run and funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and provides nutritious food to low income women, and their young children. While the WIC facilities are open for now, many facilities are running on their last few dollars and are expected to close by the end of the month if the federal government does not provide them with their additional funding.
Unfortunately, there is not much that we can do about the government shutdown, and it is up to the politicians to resolve their differences and figure out some kind of compromise. Nonetheless, whether the government is open or closed, the vulnerable, impoverished and hungry still exist. Our society still has a responsibility to take care of the most vulnerable of our population, even if we cannot rely on the government to lead the efforts.
Fortunately, non-profit organizations and food banks are committed to fighting hunger on a daily basis. While their funding is also affected, most food banks across the United States have been able to keep their doors open and support the 1 out of every 6 Americans- including the 16 million children- that struggle with food insecurity.
The longer the government shutdown persists, the more outside support these food banks will need to stay open.
Food pantries and food banks- like our partners Second Harvest Food Bank, Operation Sack Lunch and Oregon Food Bank – are in greater need of funds and non-perishable foods than ever before because of the upcoming holiday season and the decrease in government assistance. Please help by donating food items, monetary gifts or by completing Op4G surveys on their behalf.
Flickr Photo Credit