A note from The Food Group’s Executive Director, Lori Thorp
The New Year usually offers me a prompt to look brightly at the year ahead. The darkest days are behind us and the lightest are yet to come. It is hard not to be optimistic! This year, that optimism is clouded by the gloom of the recent prolonged government shutdown.
As I write this, the government recently arrived at a tentative agreement to reopen for 3 weeks. During the shutdown, as many as 800,000 federal workers did not receive a paycheck for weeks. Paychecks they rely on to support their families.
What our elected representatives do impacts the people who elected them, and they need to be held accountable. Americans working in our government—and many more who support their work—are facing a situation they never imagined. Just a few weeks ago they were enjoying the holidays with their families. Now they are wondering how they will pay their mortgage and put food on the table for their families.
All of this is leading to an increased need for food support in our community. More individuals struggling and more visits to local food shelves. Not the New Year we had imagined.
Until a permanent solution is reached, our elected leaders need to hear from us. I urge everyone to write, email or call your Senator or Congressperson urging them to keep the government open. With your help and encouragement, we will continue to do our best to support the increased need for nutritious foods.
Local & national news coverage on the shutdown’s impact on hunger: