Gleaners fears food, funding shortages from govt. shutdown

INDIANAPOLIS - The partial shutdown of the federal government is causing Gleaner's Food Bank to issue a call for more donations to help feed the poor.

Gleaners says the problem isn't immediate. But, if the shutdown isn't resolved soon, it could quickly become severe.

The problem lies in several programs, especially food stamps and the Women, Infant and Children's Nutrition (WIC) program, which receive federal funding. Though those programs are funded roughly through the end of the month, they would soon run out of funds if the government doesn't resume payments soon.

Gleaners says it wants to be ready when the many low-income Hoosiers who rely on food stamps and WIC start lining up at their food bank.

"What we're finding is that as the government is shutting down, people are starting to realize they're gonna need food. And so we're beginning to see more and more people in our lines," said Cindy Hubert, Gleaners president. "And we will continue to do so."

Even if funding for food stamps resumes, it will provide less assistance than before, because a temporary increase approved several years ago by Congress will expire in November.

Gleaners is asking Hoosiers to donate cash, and says each dollar will pay for four meals for the hungry. For more information, visit http://www.gleaners.org/ .

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