Federal shutdown affects some food pantries, too

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by Lindy Thackston

On days when the Food Pantry opens at Gleaners Food Bank, people arrive hours early and the line stretches hundreds, if not thousands, of people deep.

Gleaners relies heavily on federal funding. The warehouse is stocked at the moment, but shelves are turning bare as the government shutdown continues.

Fortunately, food was already in the pipeline to arrive before the shutdown, but now, they can’t order anything.

CEO Cindy Hubert pointed out one specific example that will affect Hoosier senior citizens.

“Seniors won’t get their box of 40 items they get on a regular basis,” said Hubert. “Twenty-one hundred seniors in our area get these boxes that will not be available if the government doesn’t fund it.”

At the same time the help has stopped, more people need help than ever.

Gleaners already provides meals for more than 300,000 people in 21 Indiana counties, and with the furlough, more families will be in line in the coming weeks.

“It’s just a big problem and it’s coming at us,” said Hubert. “There are going to be more and more hungry people so we need everybody to get involved in the hunger issue.”

Huber expects the current supply to last for a few weeks.

You can help by donating food to Gleaners or any area food bank you’d like to support. Monetary donations are also especially important because they now must go buy food to try and keep fellow Hoosiers fed. For more information, visit the Gleaners website.