Chattanooga Area Food Bank monitoring shutdown for potential impact
Without a deal between President Trump and Congress, federal funds for food assistance could run out next month, affecting some of the 38 million Americans who rely on the program for their basic needs.
Gina Crumbliss, the President and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, didn't want to speculate about what could happen if the shutdown continues, but did tell Channel 3 the food bank will meet the need locally regardless of what happens.
Operations are normal at the Chattanooga Area Food Bank while the shutdown continues in Washington.
Crumbliss is monitoring the situation closely.
"We continue to monitor the situation and we have the benefit of feeding America which provides excellent resources and actually have contacts in the Washington area, so we feel like the information is up to date and accurate," she said.
Crumbliss said the food bank receives food through two government programs that could be impacted if the shutdown continues.
USDA, which supplies items like cheese, and SNAP, which is the food stamp program.
"To give you some perspective, out of the 15 million pounds of food we distributed last year, only 6.5 percent was USDA food," she said.
Food through the USDA program will be delivered through March, while those who use the SNAP program will receive monthly benefits through January.
Crumbliss said her team will plan accordingly if a deal isn't met before February 1st.
"We are always scouring and searching for other sources of food. We get donated food but we also have to purchase a lot of food," she added.
Whole Foods is stepping up to help, on Thursday, they will be donating 5 percent of their profits to area food banks.
If you need food, whether you are a part of the SNAP program or not, click HERE.