Dear Partner Agencies,
As I am sure you are aware, the government shutdown is entering its 3rd week. This shutdown affects all “non-essential” federal government employees, TSA agents, park rangers, congressional staff etc. Many of these furloughed employees have been working without pay, which is a tremendous strain on them and their families. We are hearing of an increase in need for people in our community to put food on their table. Many of these folks have not faced this situation before.
Please be sensitive to the needs and feelings of these individuals. This may be their first visit to a food pantry and they may not feel comfortable. We suggest that you be flexible with any intake processes you have, especially regarding income since this is a population that may not normally qualify for assistance.
We are monitoring this situation closely and are very aware of the potential hardship that may occur as your agency attempts to feed those in need. We are currently sending any referrals that we receive at the food bank to our Food Finder on our website that will direct them to a pantry or feeding program near them. If this situation is not resolved soon, we will explore additional ways to support you and your agency to provide relief to these clients.
We have a special section on our website with information about this situation. You can check back for updates. The current info is pasted below.
If you are seeing an increase in clients, please notify us immediately so that we can stay on top of this situation and evaluate next steps in supporting you.
Thank you for all that you do for those in need.
Government Shutdown 2019
If you have been affected by the government shutdown please reach out to us for help.
- Online: Visit our Food Finder tool online to find your local food pantries.
- Phone: Call our main number 407-295-1066 to receive a list of food pantries.
- Visit our community resources page if you need other types of assistance.
Who does this affect?
The shutdown affects all “non-essential” federal government
employees. This means people like TSA agents, park rangers, Congressional
staff, staff for whole departments, like USDA.
Because the shutdown has lasted nearly 3 weeks, many of these “furloughed” employees have been working without pay. There’s a lot of uncertainty about how these individuals will be able to pay rent, or how they’ll be able to put food on the table. Approximately 800,000 federal workers and federal contractors have been furloughed without pay for an indefinite period, and it is expected that paychecks for federal workers and contractors will not arrive as scheduled.
It will also affect the 710,000 Central Floridians who use SNAP to put food on their tables. SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is funded by the federal government and faces a February deadline for funding.
Other programs such as WIC and Child Nutrition Programs will have funding through February too.
How we will help
Since SNAP (formaly called Food Stamps) has funding through
February, we won’t see an immediate impact for this program, but we are already
seeing an uptick in searches for feeding partners to find food. We’ve received
a few questions from furloughed employees who need resources to assist them
during the government shutdown.
We’ve estimated that if this shutdown continues for a few months, we’d have a roughly $500,000 shortfall due to government contracts such as Head Start, after school meals, and others. Once the shutdown ends, we’ll be reimbursed for our social entrepreneurship services.
This equals to approximately 1 million meals that will disappear from Central Florida.
We will not be cutting any services and we will always find a way to continue to support our feeding partners in Central Florida